Apple has announced that its China App Store, the second biggest in the world, is now accepting UnionPay as a payment option for customers.
As the most popular payment card in China — with over 4.5 billion cards issued to date — the move will make it simpler and more convenient for Apple users in China to purchase apps, since customers can now easily link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card.
“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, is quoted as saying in Apple’s statement. “China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap.”
Accepting UnionPay in the App Store is yet another move on Apple’s part to expand its presence in China, which Tim Cook has claimed on more than one occasion will likely overtake the U.S. as Apple’s biggest market.
Cook recently noted that bringing Apple Pay to China is a top priority for the company, with discussions currently taking place with major Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. If successful, these plans will mean the Alipay electronics payment service can be integrated with Apple Pay.
At the start of 2014, Apple finally agreed a deal with China Mobile, the country’s biggest cellphone provider, to bring the iPhone to its whopping 763 million customers.
In the recent China Brand Power Index, Apple beat Samsung to be named the no. 1 most powerful mobile brand in China.