Apple has agreed to accept mobile payment app Alipay at its 41 stores in China – the first time the tech giant and iPhone maker has accepted third-party mobile payment at any of its 500 shops globally.
The deal strengthens ties between Apple and China’s giant e-commerce group Alibaba as the US group bids to revive sales growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.
The tie-up will see Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, the first third-party mobile payment system accepted at any of Apple’s bricks-and-mortar store. However, Apple’s China website, iTunes store and App Store have already been accepting Alipay for more than a year.
The deal reflects acceptance by Apple that its own ApplePay system has made little headway in the country, although the company sold 41.1m smartphones in mainland China last year and reported net sales of $44.76bn in greater China.