Huawei to launch mobile payment service

Huawei's BG CEO Richard Yu, second from the right
Huawei’s BG CEO Richard Yu, second from the right

With Apple Pay having marched into China in February, boasting partnerships with 19 banks, on Tuesday, China’s largest smartphone maker Huawei announced its first partnership with the Bank of China to launch its own payment system.

By partnering with the Bank of China, one of China’s largest state-run banks, Huawei said they are aiming to make the payment process easier for millions of consumers. The company may be using the partnership to test the waters before signing on with other banks. Details of Huawei Pay’s launch date has not yet been revealed, NetEase Tech news reported.

“Mobile phones have been going through revolutionary changes in recent years, and mobile payment, by making payments easier and safer, is very likely to become a major function of mobile phones in the near future,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group.

Huawei has a large user base to potentially support its mobile payment system. Selling more than 109 million smartphones and generating RMB 390 billion (USD 59.87 billion) in revenue last year, Huawei has become the third-largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Apple, according to a recent Trend Force report.

But it won’t be easy to compete with Alipay and WeChat Payment which are the largest players in China’s domestic market. While the former enjoys 71.5% of the market share with over 270 million registered Alipay users last April, WeChat Payment enjoys 15.9% of the share, reporting it has over 200 million users linking its platform to their bank accounts at Q3 of 2015, reported by Alibaba and Tencent respectively.

The days of cards and cash may soon be over as mobile payments are now ubiquitous, with non-stop momentum in China, covering shops, restaurants, taxis, vending machines, and even hospitals. According to iResearch, 2015 saw a turnover in mobile payments reaching RMB 9,310 billion, a YoY growth of 57.3%.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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