Phones

Apple Pay tempts China with money-off deals

The country's $5.5 trillion digital payments market may be dominated by local tech giants, but Apple wants a slice of that juicy pie.

Apple Pay Launches In China

Apple wants more Chinese consumers to use Apple Pay, like here at a McDonald's in Beijing.

VCG/Getty Images

China's mobile payments market is worth almost $6 trillion, and Apple wants a bite of that.

To encourage more Chinese to start using Apple Pay, the iPhone maker is offering up to 50 percent discounts off purchases at participating vendors, many of them Western brands. It's also rewarding users up to 50 times the usual points for designated credit cards, according to Apple's official Chinese website. The promotion period will run from July 18 to 24.

China is a tough market to break into for Apple Pay, because the Chinese are more familiar with local mobile payment services such as WeChat Pay and Alipay. The two services have a combined market share of 92 percent, and people are so dependent on them that the companies have expanded overseas specifically to cater to Chinese travellers.

Promotions are offered by Apple Pay, but they are subject to varying terms and conditions set out by merchants. While Burger King and Costa Coffee have capped 50 percent discounts at 15 yuan (or $2.22), for example, 7-Eleven set its cap at 10 yuan (approximately $1.48). Starbucks, on the other hand, will take 15 yuan off purchases amounting to 60 yuan (or $8.86) or more.  

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