Apple will allow payments with Alipay in all its 41 stores in mainland China, Financial Times reported. The partnership between the manufacturer and the Alibaba affiliate marks the first time a third-party mobile payment platform makes its way in any of the 500 Apple stores globally.
Apple sold 41.1 million smartphones in China in 2017 and generated net sales of $44.7 billion, but still struggles to to push its own Apple Pay platform. Alipay, on the other hand, is a market leader in China, where along with its rival WeixinPay accounts for $11.4 trillion of payments in 2016.
Eyeing to outperform its competitor and to offer an IPO, Ant Financial, the parent company of Alipay and subsidiary of Alibaba, is aggressively recruiting physical stores to sign up to its platform. The virtual wallet is already used for payments in the App Store and iTunes, therefore a change in market positions is unclear, FT predicts.