In a first and important step toward making Apple Pay available in China, Apple reportedly registered an entity in the Shanghai free-trade zone late last week.
According to people close to the matter, the launch of Apple’s entity would “bring Apple Pay, considered as a new type of business, new model and new technology, into China,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Apple registered the company, named Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd., on June 10, and its business operations are listed as technical consulting, services and system integration in the field of payments, the Shanghai government’s company registration database showed.
Shanghai’s government-backed newspaper Wenhui News said the entity will be used to operate Apple’s mobile payment service in the country.
The newly registered company’s only investor is Apple’s Singapore branch, and the database lists its capital at $13.4 million, WSJ said. Apple Vice President and Corporate Treasurer Gary Joseph Wipfler is shown as the company’s legal representative and chairman.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has made no secret of the fact that Apple Pay’s expansion into China is a high priority.
“We want to bring Apple Pay to China. I’m convinced there will be enough people that want to use it. It’s going to be successful,” Cook said in an interview with China’s influential Xinhua News Agency last year.
“China is a really key market for us. Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list.”
While Apple is moving forward in its plans to bring Apple Pay to the Chinese market, it will still face many hurdles.
“Apple is very late to the payments game with Alibaba and Tencent well-entrenched,” Shiv Putcha, an associate director with the International Data Corp’s Asia/Pacific consumer mobility and social consumer research team, told China Daily earlier this year.
“Keep in mind … only Apple Pay users can avail this service, while virtually all smartphone users can avail payments through an Alipay or WeChat app.”
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