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Bringing Apple Pay to China: Easier pronounced than done

Bringing Apple Pay to China: Easier pronounced than done

At a finish of a four-day China debate that enclosed a straightforward speak with a Vice Premier about online security, a oath to triple a series of Chinese Apple Stores and a revisit to a Foxconn bureau convention iPhones as quick as it can, Tim Cook told China’s central state news group Friday that No. 1 on his Chinese to-do list was to move Apple Pay to China.

Apple’s swipe-and-pay complement arrived in a U.S. on Monday to some flattering good buzz, many of it certain (see Mossberg et al. during Re/code) with caveats (see Molly Wood in a New York Times).

But it hasn’t arrived in China. The underline was deactivated on a new iPhones that went on sale there final week, and according to a news in Caixin Online, it might not be incited on before March.

What’s a hang-up?

As Caixin’s Li Xiaoxiao and Zhang Yuzhe tell it, 4 stakeholders are “tangled in a fray” over how best to yield electronic remuneration services in China:

  • UnionPay, a state-owned bankcard hulk and a long-time devotee of near-field communications (NFC) technology.
  • Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant. It went a simpler, some-more hackable QR formula route.
  • China Mobile and a other large cellphone carriers. They sell SIMs with a built-in secure component (SE).
  • Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo and other smartphone manufacturers. They try to control a secure component during a handset level.


“Whoever controls a SE controls a information stored on it and a collateral sitting in a analogous accounts,” pronounced Shenyin Wanguo in a investigate news cited by Caixin.

Enter Apple, with a possess secure element, an encrypted token sell system, a exclusive fingerprint approval chip — and a hilly story with a supervision tranquil media (see here and here).

Caixin’s Li reported in September that UnionPay had concluded to accept ApplePay. It contingency not have been that simple, since it hasn’t happened yet.

We wish to move Apple Pay to China,” Tim Cook told a Xinhua News Agency Friday. “Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on a tip of a list.”

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter during @philiped. Read his Apple


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