Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, right, and China Mobile's Chairman Xi Guohua, left, with a customer at an event celebrating the launch of Apple's iPhone on China Mobile's network at a China Mobile shop in Beijing on Jan. 17.
In the middle of the night, Apple announced a deal that should make it a much stronger company in China.
Apple added China UnionPay as a payment option for the App Store in China.
UnionPay has "a virtual monopoly on processing payments between merchants, banks, and credit card companies," according to Quartz.
Previously, Chinese consumers interested in buying things through the App Store had to go through a complicated process setting up a prepaid account. According to The New York Times, that meant selecting a bank, then providing an online banking password, then depositing at least $8.
With UnionPay linked to iTunes accounts, consumers will be able to quickly and easily make purchases.
There's no word from Apple on linking UnionPay with Apple's mobile phone payment system Apple Pay, but this would be a good sign for that happening in the future.
China is Apple's second-biggest market for App Store sales despite the complicated process needed to buy apps. Now that it's even easier, it's like putting the App Store on steroids. It should lead to a nice boost in sales.
Here is the release:
BEIJING—November 17, 2014—Apple® today announced that the App Store℠ has added UnionPay as a payment option for customers in China. China UnionPay is the most popular payment card in China and will provide App Store customers with a simple and more convenient way to purchase their favorite apps. Customers can easily link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card for one-tap purchases.
“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap.”
As a bankcard network, China UnionPay operates China’s national inter-bank clearing and settlement system, develops the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network, promotes the issuance and usage of the UnionPay Card as well as other innovative payment solutions, so as to provide quality, efficient and safe payment services to cardholders. To date, the total number of UnionPay Cards issued both at home and abroad has exceeded 4.5 billion. The UnionPay network has been extended to all cities and rural areas in China. In addition, China UnionPay has enabled UnionPay Card acceptance in over 140 countries and regions through extensive cooperation with more than 400 institutions around the world. Additional information may be found at: www.unionpay.com .
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