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Apple Pay hits its first major hurdle

Published Feb 17th, 2015 7:45AM EST
Apple Pay Stores China
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple Pay is a product that has thus far seemed to mirror many successful products Apple has launched before it. As was the case with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Apple was not the first company to enter this emerging category. Mobile payment systems have existed in various parts of the world for more than a decade, in fact. Instead, Apple took its time to launch the best product it could build, not the first product it could build, and the result is a terrific user experience that is gaining acclaim and traction in these early days.

Now, however, it appears as though Apple Pay has hit the first major hurdle it must overcome on the road to widespread adoption.

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China is a market that Apple has clearly realized it must tackle if it hopes to enjoy continued growth. The company has struck several big deals in the region over the past couple of years, and CEO Tim Cook has given every indication that Apple will continue to focus on building its business in China.

When it comes to Apple Pay, however, that task may be easier said than done.

According to a report from MarketWatch issued late Monday night, Apple’s talks with a potential major partner in China have stalled. Progress in negotiations with UnionPay, the state-owned debit and credit transaction processing company in China, has seemingly ceased.

What’s more, an unnamed People’s Bank of China official said that Apple has not yet begun working with China’s regulatory body regarding Apple Pay and as a result, “it’s unclear whether the product meets the government’s requirements” to launch in the country.

Apple has also reportedly had some preliminary talks with Alibaba regarding a potential mobile payment partnership in the region, but those talks have not borne any fruit either.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.