Apple products always create a sensation in China, and Apple Pay is no exception. It created a wave of interest in just the first 12 hours after its launch on Thursday.
According to insider leaks from UnionPay, Chinese customers added 38 million UnionPay bank cards to Apple Pay through the “Wallet” app as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, reported Chinese business blog QDaily.com.
UnionPay has yet to officially confirm the number with AllChinaTech.
Apple Pay allows users to add as many as eight bank cards. If each user added two cards, it means 19 million people were caught up in Apple Pay’s first-day craze. This number doesn’t factor in that many were barred from registering the service due to crashed servers and Apple’s staggered release plan, which opens Apple Pay services to a new group of Apple users every hour.
Technically, only iPhone 6 or above-version users can add Apply Pay. According to a rough estimate by QDaily, the number of China’s iPhone users who can use Apple Pay is around 80 million. Apple sold 82.19 million smartphones in mainland China from October 2014, when iPhone 6 was launched, to the end of 2015, the blog wrote.
The number is calculated from Apple’s regional sales volume ratio and iPhone’s global sales data, but it does not include iPhones bought outside China and bought in Q1 2016.
It’s still quite a high ratio: potentially 19 million out of around 80 million users adopted Apple Pay on the first day.
However, it’s too early to call it a success for Apple Pay. Many users voiced complaints about their bumpy experience adding their cards to the Wallet and the sluggish Apple Pay partner stores where shop assistants weren’t prepared to operate the payment system.
Apple Pay also faces overall user development challenges in China. There are many smartphone brands including Huawei and Xiaomi that are competing in a saturated market. A recent report by TalkingData showed that Chinese users already own 1.28 billion mobile devices.
In fact, the iOS market share is shrinking. According to technology research company Gartner, sales of Apple Inc.’s iPhone dropped for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2015.
“In the final quarter of 2015, iPhone sales dropped 4.4%, cutting Apple’s market share to 17.7% from 20.4% in the same quarter of 2014,” reported MarketWatch.
(Top photo from http://www.news.cn)