Apple allows Alipay in its app eco-system as it strengthens its foothold in China

Apple’s strategy is aimed at strengthening bonds with local Chinese suppliers and government bodies. Despite facing strong headwinds from China’s business practices, Apple is pushing to make headway with its CEO visiting the country frequently in recent times.

With Apple Inc pushing to make headway in China, the world’s second largest economy, it boosted its ties with local e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd by allowing Alipay in its app eco-system.

Alipay is the first third-party mobile payment system that will be accepted at Apple’s 41 brick-and-mortar store in China as well as worldwide, said China’s Ant Financial in a statement.

Apple’s own payment system has met lukewarm success in China.

The deal comes midst Apple’s efforts to double down on the market as it Cupertino tries to strengthen its bonds with local partners and government bodies.

Incidentally, in recent times Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO has visited China frequently.

To comply with Beijing’s authoritarian rules, Apple has shifted Chinese user data to China-based servers, earlier this month, and has removed dozens of local and foreign VPN apps from its Chinese app store.

Alipay, one of China’s top mobile payment platform, continues to face stiff competition from rivals, including Tencent Holdings Ltd’s payment system that is embedded within its hugely-popular WeChat app.

Late on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported Apple will be building its second data center in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

In 2017, it set up a data center in Guizhou, a southern province in China.

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