Apple Pay runs into problem for its China launch

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Apple Pay
Apple Pay's China launch didn't go smoothly.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Pay made its debut in China this Thursday, but things didn’t go quite as smoothly as hoped — largely thanks to the sheer number of users trying to register with the service.

According to local reports, many users were faced with system errors after struggling to link their credit cards to their Apple Pay accounts.

Apple spokesman, Cong Jie, promised the fault would be fixed by Friday, although a number of people are said to be having the same issues.

While it’s never good for Apple to look unprepared when it launches a new service (particularly when you’re dealing with an area as hotly-contested as mobile payments in China, where there are already entrenched leaders), it’s still an overall positive sign — since it suggests more people are trying to use Apple Pay than Apple banked on.

Local reports state that 38 million bank cards had already been linked to Apple Pay in China by 5pm on Thursday. As per the Beijing Morning News, 10 million people were already signed up by 5am that morning: demonstrating the massive amount of interest.

By comparison, market leader Alipay has a reported 400 million users, representing 70 percent of the market.

Tim Cook previously called launching Apple Pay in China “top of the list” in terms of the company’s priorities, although it was help up by regulatory delays along with disagreements with Chinese banks over what percentage of transactions Apple should be entitled to for its fees.

Given that Apple Pay hasn’t taken off elsewhere quite as strongly as Apple would like, it seems that China (early teething problems aside) may represent a big boon for Apple’s mobile payment business.

Just so long as Apple can sort out its overloaded servers, that is…

Source: Mashable

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  • Nathan Sanchez

    I can’t walk one step in China without seeing someone with an iPhone, and 99% of them seem to be the rose gold 6S’s, but the NFC payment terminals in China are lacking severely compared to the US. I think 1 out of 20 POS terminals I’ve seen here, whether it be in shopping malls, grocery stores and restaurants, the NFC enabled ones are just too few and far between. I can see why people are excited to get onboard with this new payment system as it’s a lot more convenient than using Alipay (which uses a QR code, instead of NFC), but the POS infrastructure is generally just lacking.