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Can Apple Pay compete in alipay-dominated China?

Apple Pay能否在支付宝占主流的中国杀出血路?.jpg

In the mobile-driven population of China, there’s already a clear leader in mobile payments-Alipay, Alibaba’s mobile payment system. Can Apple keep up even if it gets approved to bring Apple Pay to the country?

在移动互联网大热的中国,手机支付领域已经拥有了一位显而易见的领跑者——阿里巴巴的手机支付系统支付宝。如果苹果公司的Apple Pay获准进入该市场,它能否迎头赶上呢?

Apple Pay hasn’t even entered China’s market, as it still must clear regulatory hurdles, but it appears that Apple may already be behind in the China’s mobile payments game. At least that’s what some analysts are saying.

到目前为止,Apple Pay尚未正式进入中国。虽然尚有监管限制需要解决,但在部分分析师看来,苹果可能已经加入了中国的手机支付比拼。

“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. “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.”

市场研究公司IDC亚太区消费移动与社交研究团队的副总监希夫·普恰对媒体表示:“苹果进入中国市场的时间很晚,而阿里巴巴与腾讯在这里的地位已经非常牢固。要知道……能使用Apple Pay的只是苹果用户,而几乎所有智能手机用户都可以使用支付宝或微信支付。”

Recent reports indicate Apple and China’s Union Pay have struck a deal to allow Apple Pay to launch April 28 in China, though it’s unclear if that date will be hit.

最近有报道称,苹果已经与中国银联达成协议,Apple Pay即将在4月28日登陆中国,尚不清楚这一日期是否准确。

While Apple is slowly gaining more of the smartphone marketshare in China, it’s still very much an Android-dominated market. Putcha said this may also be a deterrent for Apple being able to gain more of the mobile payment market share. According to stats from Beijing-based firm iResearch Global Inc., Alipay accounted for 82.3 percent of China’s mobile payment market in 2014. Tenpay accounted for 10.6 percent, and the rest is split between about eight others that make up a sliver of the mobile payments. Apple Pay would also have to compete against Tencent’s WeChat, a social messaging app that enables mobile payments.

虽然苹果在中国智能手机市场的份额一直缓缓增加,但这里仍然是个安卓占主流的市场。普恰说,从手机支付市场上看,这同样阻碍着苹果获取更多份额。中国调研公司艾瑞的数据显示,2014年支付宝占据中国手机支付市场82.3%的份额,而腾讯财付通的份额为10.6%,剩下市场的则由另外8家公司瓜分。此外,Apple Pay还要与腾讯的微信竞争,后者启用了手机支付功能。

While Apple may not be the top smartphone maker in China, Bloomberg reported the company is trying new routes to get its loyal iPhone customers on board with the iPhone 6 by offering an iPhone trade-in program in China similar to what it has done in the U.S. Getting more iPhone 6 users would help put the Apple Pay capability into users’ hands, which could help drive Apple Pay transactions if the service actually makes its way into China. The program is said to start today, March 31.

虽然苹果在中国可能算不上头号智能手机制造商,不过彭博社报道指出,该公司已经在中国推出了与美国类似的以旧换新方案,让忠诚的iPhone用户换上iPhone 6新机。更多的iPhone 6用户或有助于Apple Pay的普及,只要正式进入中国,这也将有助于增加Apple Pay的交易量。苹果在中国的以旧换新方案于3月31日正式启动。

Siyun Zeng, a mobile media analyst from London-based ISH Technology, told China Daily that Apple Pay may motivate China’s consumer base to buy iPhones, but Apple still has to clear the mobile payments option through the Chinese government in the same manner Alipay has already done.

英国ISH公司的移动媒体分析师郑思云对媒体表示,Apple Pay可能会带动中国消费者购买更多iPhone手机,不过苹果必须得按照支付宝的办法,通过中国政府来获得手机支付产品的许可。

Zeng said China’s mobile wallets already have captured what Chinese consumers are demanding from their mobile payment experience, and there are new companies ready to enter the market. According to Zeng, China’s mobile wallets already enable “bill splitting, taxi hailing, online shopping, merchant location/service searching, [and] buying train/flight tickets,” which would leave Apple trailing behind in its offerings. Mobile payments in China is said to be around a $965.1 billion business, iResearch data indicated.


Sandy Shen, Gartner’s consumer services research director for mobile devices, said consumer loyalty of iPhone products could help eventually drive up mobile payments for those Apple enthusiasts in China, but even for those who she called the “early adopters,” it could be an uphill battle because of Alipay and WeChat’s dedicated bunch of users and merchants.

Gartner公司负责移动设备的消费者服务研究总监沈哲怡表示,消费者对iPhone产品的忠诚度终归会带动手机支付的发展,不过即便是对那些“早期使用者”来说,考虑到支付宝与微信商户及用户数的庞大规模,Apple Pay还有很长一段路要走。

“It takes time for average consumer to learn how to use the service even if they are loyal to the iPhone,” Shen wrote in an email to China Daily. “But people’s loyalty to the device may not be necessarily translated to apps/services.”



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