到目前为止，只有内置近场通信（NFC）信号发送器的iPhone 6和iPhone 6 Plus才能使用苹果支付功能。这些产品在北京卖得十分火爆。中国对iPhone 6Plus的需求尤其强烈，甚至在发布三个多月后的现在，中国黄牛每天早晨还是会在美国的苹果商店前排着长队，购买当天的供货。
It’s a pretty safe bet that nearly every Chinese iPhone owner — and there could be a couple hundred million — also has a UnionPay credit or debit card. China UnionPay isn’t just the biggest bank card company in China, it’s the only Chinese bank card, with more than 4.5 billion cards issued worldwide.
On Monday morning (Beijing time), Apple announced that it had struck a deal that will make it easier for UnionPay card holders to buy goods and services on Apple’s App Store in China — the company’s second largest market for app downloads.
Rather than clicking through a cumbersome three-step process — selecting a bank, setting up an online password, and depositing a minimum of roughly $8 in a prepaid account — just to buy an app, Chinese customers can now link their Apple ID with their UnionPay card for what Apple describes as “one-tap purchases.” Apple already has hundreds of millions of credit card numbers on file. This deal gives it access to an addressable market measured in billions.
What Apple’s press release didn’t say is whether Apple Pay will be accepted at the QuickPay kiosks UnionPay has been deploying in thousands of Chinese cities and town.
A rumor that an Apple Pay/UnionPay deal had been struck surfaced on China’s Caixon Online on Sept. 11, two days after Apple’s friction-free payment system was unveiled.
So far, only the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with their built-in NFC transmitters, will work with Apple Pay. But those devices are selling like hot steamed buns in Beijing. Chinese demand for the iPhone 6 Plus in particular is so high in that even today, more than three months after it was released, Chinese resellers are lining up every morning outside Apple Stores in U.S. cities to buy that day’s supply.
You can almost feel Tim Cook’s China strategy falling into place.