Update – December 4, 2009: HC360.com is reporting today that Apple and Alipay have formed a partnership to develop a new payment system. The Apple/Alipay system (name TBA) will facilitate China App Store purchases for Chinese consumers. The current iTunes App Store model requires that users provide a major credit card to purchase apps, games and music. The majority of consumers in China do not use credit cards, preferring to pay in cash or by check. Debit cards and credit cards are gaining in popularity in China, however many bank card in China are not on iTunes accepted list (e.g. Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, etc.).
The new “under development” Apple/Alipay e-payment system is good news for iPhone developers seeking to sell their apps and games to Chinese consumers. According to Alipay Vice President QUI Chag-heng; “Alipay’s application will be the first App Store payment application in China.”
Alipay is a subsidiary of Alibaba.com a privately owned family of Internet-based businesses that include business-to-business trade, online retail, and e-payment platforms.
Tencent and Alibaba win contracts to support China Unicom e-payments
October 27, 2009: According to a report on Paypers, both Tencent (Tenpay) and Alibaba (Alipay and YeePay) have inked agreements with China Unicom to deliver third-party e-payment services for China Unicom mobile customers.
Tenpay e-payment services will allow Unicom consumers to:
- recharge their phones via Unicom’s online service center and apply for Unicom’s online value-added services
- buy recharge cards
- purchase mobile handsets and 3G data cards from Unicom’s online store
Alipay and YeePay will enable Unicom customers to send and receive payments via the Internet and via their mobile handsets.