Apple now accepting China UnionPay as payment option for Chinese App Store users

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As of Sunday, Apple's Chinese App Store — now the second largest in the world — accepts payments from China UnionPay, the country's only bank card organization and issuers of the most popular cards in China.

With the new payment option, Chinese customers holding UnionPay accounts can now purchase apps through Apple's App Store. China UnionPay is responsible for China's inter-bank clearing and settlement system and has issued more than 4.5 billion UnionPay Cards to customers in China and beyond, Apple said in its announcement.

"The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China," said Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue. "China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we're providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap."

UnionPay Cards are currently accepted in over 140 countries with issuance in over 30 countries, according to the company's website. As one the most-used cards in China, UnionPay's network extends to all cities and rural areas in the country, Apple said.

The move comes three years after Apple first launched its online retail and App Store presence in 2010. During the intervening years, China has become one of Apple's most important operating areas and a vital area for future growth.

For the most recent fourth fiscal quarter, Greater China generated over $29.8 billion in net sales — up 17 percent year-over-year — placing it third behind the U.S. and Europe.


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