Apple is reportedly launching an Apple Pay marketing scheme in China, which is its largest effort since launching the payment method nearly a year and a half ago.
According to a report detailing the news, the Cupertino, California, technology company is offering consumers discounts of up to 50 percent and points rewards of up to fifty times the normal number for using the service at around 28 retailers in China and 16 online stores.
China is by far the toughest market for Apple to crack, largely because there were already established players in the country when it entered it. The report cited data from Analysys, the research firm that discovered the mobile payment market in China is led by Alibaba’s AliPay and Tencent’s WeChat, with Alipay commanding 53.7 percent of the market and WeChat controlling 39.5 percent as of the first quarter of this year.
“People are accustomed to Alipay and WeChat Pay in China, which also offer various cash rebates or discounts now and then,” said a salesperson at a 7-Eleven store in Shenzhen, according to the report.
Despite the two Chinese mobile payment services’ lead in the country, there is some optimism that Apple Pay will be successful with its marketing promotion. Analysys said in the report that it expects the deal to lure more Chinese consumers to the payment service.
Meanwhile research firm IDC thinks it will help Apple grow its share of the market. “I am happy to see that Apple finally has decided to do something to gain market share in China,” said IDC China Managing Director Kitty Fok in the report.
Among the retailers that are participating in the promotion are 7-Eleven, Burger King, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and GAP. The move comes amid a push by Apple to reach more deals with banks and credit unions in the U.S. and around the world.
Just last week it reached a deal with PayPal to include PayPal as a payment method in Apple Pay.