Tim Cook working with Alibaba to bring Apple Pay to China

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook is currently in China promoting the company’s environmental plans, and has also spoken Apple Pay launching in China.

Speaking to Xinhua News, Cook said “We very much want to get Apple Pay in China. I'm very bullish on Apple Pay in China.”

Disregarding the fact we cannot think of Cook saying the word “bullish”, the comment fits with Apple’s planned launch with UnionPay and Alibaba support, the two keys to success in the Chinese payments market.

UnionPay is the only bank in China to handle inter-bank transfers and already sells various contactless counters and cards. Similar to Apple’s China Mobile support for the iPhone 6 launch, it needs UnionPay support to make Apple Pay successful.

Alibaba is the largest e-commerce platform in China, bigger than Amazon and eBay in terms of sales. Having Apple Pay as a supported payment method would bolster Apple’s position, especially with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners who want to utilise the TouchID fingerprint sensor in any way possible.

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Apple has already seen a large amount of retail and bank support for TouchID in the US, but the slow rollout to Europe and Asia has left a few customers unhappy with the state of iOS outside of Apple’s home country.

The company has plans to launch Apple Pay in more countries throughout 2015, but considering support from major banks and retailers is key to the payment platform’s success, Apple is not taking any risks on markets outside the US.