China Payments Research

After nearly a year and a half from its US release date and after long preparations and cancelled announcements it finally looks like Apple will be releasing its mobile payment system, Apple Pay, in China somewhere in Q1 of 2016, possibly before Chinese New Year rolls around.

As China's economy slows and people push to move their money abroad for better returns, the government is now trying its best to keep money at home. The PBOC has estimated that outflows of the China’s foreign reserve attributed to illegal underground banks amounted to about 800 billion yuan ($125 billion) from April to October this year. Chinese police launched a series of crackdown on underground banking and illegal foreign-exchange network to continue the anti-corruption campaign. But will it matter? Can they actually stem the flow of money out?

Earlier this week at The Swatch Art Peace Hotel on the Shanghai Bund, Swatch launched a new smartwatch called the Swatch Bellamy. The Swiss based company announced that it is teaming up with China UnionPay and the Bank of Communications to allow the device to be used for mobile payments at any UnionPay POS as it seems like the Bellamy is NFC-enabled. 

As mobile payments become increasingly abundant among global transactions and an increasing preference for mobile payments amongst Chinese consumers continues to develop both in China and overseas, it was only a matter of time for which mobile payment platform providers would see the opportunity to capitalize on the growing overseas demand for mobile payments.

Finance, cinema, bricks-and-mortar and soccer - what could be next for Alibaba? The e-commerce giant has been poised to undertake a new venture with the Chinese state owned arms, vehicle and machinery producer China North Industries Group Corp, or Norinco.

Alibaba’s strategy to integrate brick-and-mortar stores into its business model has become more prominent over the coming weeks when it was announced on 10th August that it would be investing $4.6bn (19.99% stake) in the Chinese electronics retailer - Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd.

Third party online payment services in China have disrupted the traditional financial industry, and enabled a new era of Internet finance lead by Alibaba group. To regulate and set benchmarks for this booming industry, the “Internet Finance Guidelines” was issued last month to curb potential risks, ensure competition, and protect information security and the legitimate rights of investors.

In July 2015 the Ping An Group announced the merger of 1qianbao, its payment solution and Wanlitong Loyalty Points Program. The merger came as a surprise for many employees of the payment division, as the service was successfully growing over the year and a half since the launch.

The versatile internet powerhouse Alibaba group is now sitting on the goldmine of big data and is innovatively monetizing it through internet finance. This time Alibaba Group's online payment system Sesame Credit applies the cutting edge big data-based credit rating system in partnership with Luxembourg's Consulate General in Shanghai for a launch of a credit-based visa application service.

Since its launch 3 years ago, popular third party POS payment provdier Square has gained a respectable level of global adoption. Clients have access to 130 currencies in four languages worldwide. Despite the great success, we haven’t seen any presence of Square in China.

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