Apple Launches Large-Scale Apple Pay Promotional Campaign in China

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Apple today launched a large-scale promotion in China offering special discounts for consumers who use Apple Pay, in the company's latest bid to counter the dominance of rival digital wallets in the country.

Between July 18 and 24, Apple device owners who use the mobile payment system to make purchases in participating merchants across mainland China will receive concessions of up to 50 percent and as much as 50 times the usual number of reward points for credit cards, according to Apple's official Chinese website.

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A total of 28 brick-and-mortar retail outlets are named in the campaign, including supermarkets and restaurants such as 7-Eleven, Watsons, Burger King and Starbucks, while 16 online merchants such as JD.com are also participating, with discounts varying between businesses.

In addition to retailers, 17 Chinese banks are also getting involved, offering up to 50 times the usual amount of reward points accrued when transactions are made using credit cards registered with Apple Pay.

The Apple Pay promotion is the largest of its kind to date in China, where third-party mobile payments are dominated by Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, which run Alipay and WeChat Pay, respectively. The rival digital wallets work on various phone brands, whereas Apple Pay, which debuted in China in February 2016, is limited to iOS devices and Apple Watch.

That presents a challenge for Apple, which has struggled to shift iPhones in China. The company shipped 9.6 million units in the first quarter, down 26.7 percent from a year earlier. It also recorded a 9.2 percent share of the smartphone market in Q1 2017, down from 12.7 in the first quarter of 2016.

Users can find the full list of merchants participating in the latest promotion on Apple's website.

(Via South China Morning Post.)

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: China

Top Rated Comments

goshya Avatar
44 months ago
I have tried contacting Apple several times.

The helpline doesn't seem to be able to forward anything to Apple engineers. The same goes for the Apple Store employees I spoke to in mainland China, Hongkong, and London. They acknowledge the bugs after having them shown to them and then apologise for having to tell you that the only way to contact Apple is the use of the feedback website.

I have submitted several reports through that website. Problem here is also that one is only allowed to use a certain amount of words which sometimes makes it difficult to explain something complex.

I even once sent an email to Tim Cook's email address. I didn't expect him to read it but simply asked whomever checks emails addressed to him whether he/she could forward my email to an engineer.

None of the bugs got fixed throughout ios9 or 10.

There is only that much one can do.

On a side note:
Having that much money and not being able to get rid of software bugs that prevent people from working productively is just appalling.

Alas, I have stopped recommending Apple products. Not that much because of hardware but because of software problems that simply don't get addressed.



Have you written this up and sent it to Apple's feedback page? I feel like you're in a unique position to make a difference here.

Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Good User Name Avatar
44 months ago

Everything Apple is rubbish in China truth be told.

I don't quite understand how the managers in Cupertino can expect to be successful in mainland China if their products simply don't work properly there.

There is no way Chinese Apple users or even Apple Store employees are able to give feedback. (Anyone from Apple reading this? Send me a message!)

If I continue working in China, I will have to buy an Android device.

Problems:
iCloud backup doesn't work 80% of times.
QQ emails are only fetched for the last two months. The most important email services in China aren't searchable.
If one happens to have a gmail account, Apple Mail tries to connect every few seconds draining the battery. (And still doesn't manage to fetch the emails)
Weather cannot be checked for most (99%) of places outside China.
Maps doesn't work for places outside China.
Connections to the App Store time out on daily basis.
I tried to restore a backup from iCloud once. Backup was 1 GB. Internet connection 100 MBit. Took 17 hours. Apple servers are super slow in China.
Predictive text goes berserk once one has dared to activate any keyboard apart from the English one.
WeChat on Apple Watch is tripe.
Messages is total, utter rubbish compared to WeChat.

I could go on.

Using an Apple product is simply a nuisance in China.

Have you written this up and sent it to Apple's feedback page? I feel like you're in a unique position to make a difference here.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nicho Avatar
44 months ago

Problems:
iCloud backup doesn't work 80% of times.
QQ emails are only fetched for the last two months. The most important email services in China aren't searchable properly using Apple's mail app.
I tried to restore a backup from iCloud once. Backup was 1 GB. Internet connection 100 MBit. Took 17 hours. Apple servers are super slow in China.
Connections to the App Store time out on daily basis.

These ones I'll give you. My backup worked overnight tonight for the first time in 5 days. It's awful, but I think that's because the relevant data centers are outside of China, and China -> outside china connections are bad. You won't get anywhere near 100MBit, which is a shame. Hopefully Apple builds infrastructure to get this fixed (soon) because it's annoying AF. Same with icloud photo library, the performance just randomly isn't there compared to using it abroad. App store/Apple Music content is obviously stored on Chinese servers because I get hugely fast downloads on my mac.

If one happens to have a gmail account, Apple Mail tries to connect every few seconds and thus draining the battery. (And still doesn't manage to fetch the emails)

Never noticed this myself... do you still somehow have it set to push? It shouldn't fetch more often than it's set to? Then again I used to play a mobile game which ate up my battery waaaaay faster than anything else, so I perhaps just didn't notice. Looking at the settings screen, mail has used 7% of my battery with 40mins on screen, 55mins in the background. wechat got 2h of screen time and the same background time from 6%. Is that what you're seeing too?

Weather cannot be checked for most (99%) of places outside China. (Apple weather app)

This one's just not true. You need to check your settings properly.

Maps doesn't work for places outside China.

"It's not a bug it's a feature" - I think this one is forced on them by the Chinese government. It's server side, and I doubt they'll ever be allowed to fix it. Maps of China only work in China, maps of the outside world only work on connections from outside China. You can see what I mean if you connect to a VPN, the local maps lose 99% of their details but other countries' become usable. Hong Kong is a special case because about 80% of the detail is accessible from China, but there's another problem of GPS drift/obfuscation that puts positioning about 500 yards north of where it should be, if that makes sense. My position on a chinese map and my position on the outside world version of it are not the same place, and the same goes for things like addresses in Hong Kong in the calendar application, or photo locations in Photos.

Predictive text goes berserk once one has dared to activate any keyboard apart from the English one.

What do you mean? I've not experienced anything like this and switch between English and Chinese all the time.

WeChat on Apple Watch is tripe.
Messages is total, utter rubbish compared to WeChat.

I could go on.

Using an Apple product is simply a nuisance in China

Thats a bit unfair also. Apple don't develop these apps, other developers do. What do you actually want WeChat on apple watch to do? I can use it to reply to messages in the same why i can reply to Messages messages, and that's more than is possible with some other chat apps/notifications.

There are some things they could and should fix themselves though. The lack of mail in service options for apple watch (i'm not sure about other devices) is annoying and why I won't bother with Applecare+. Being forced to use the Apple Store app in Chinese when in China is inexcusable (it's not like they don't have any kind of localisation set and ready to go... and the desktop based support is available in Chinese and English, why not in the app?)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GrumpyMom Avatar
44 months ago

I have tried contacting Apple several times.

The helpline doesn't seem to be able to forward anything to Apple engineers. The same goes for the Apple Store employees I spoke to in mainland China, Hongkong, and London. They acknowledge the bugs after having them shown to them and then apologise for having to tell you that the only way to contact Apple is the use of the feedback website.

I have submitted several reports through that website. Problem here is also that one is only allowed to use a certain amount of words which sometimes makes it difficult to explain something complex.

I even once sent an email to Tim Cook's email address. I didn't expect him to read it but simply asked whomever checks emails addressed to him whether he/she could forward my email to an engineer.

None of the bugs got fixed throughout ios9 or 10.

There is only that much one can do.

On a side note:
Having that much money and not being able to get rid of software bugs that prevent people from working productively is just appalling.

Alas, I have stopped recommending Apple products. Not that much because of hardware but because of software problems that simply don't get addressed.

Well you certainly did your part. I think it's been the case for a few years now that Apple has stalled out a bit in many aspects after Steve Jobs passed away and while the new Apple Campus was being built and while Apple was expanding and investing overseas. Now with the Campus almost completed and international projects under way, I see them turning a corner lately and trying to catch up to expectations domestically. I can only hope they start getting the personnel and infrastructure in place to start serving international customers much better than they have been.

I think Apple has had a problem scaling up to meet demands. They entered markets they weren't fully prepared to service, by the looks of things.

Even here in the US we still have product shortages and complaints about services, too.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goshya Avatar
44 months ago
Everything Apple is rubbish in China truth be told.

I don't quite understand how the managers in Cupertino can expect to be successful in mainland China if their products simply don't work properly there.

There is no way for Chinese Apple users or even Apple Store employees to give feedback. (Anyone from Apple reading this? Send me a message!)

If I continue working in China, I will have to buy an Android device.

Problems:
iCloud backup doesn't work 80% of times.
QQ emails are only fetched for the last two months. The most important email services in China aren't searchable properly using Apple's mail app.
If one happens to have a gmail account, Apple Mail tries to connect every few seconds and thus draining the battery. (And still doesn't manage to fetch the emails)
Weather cannot be checked for most (99%) of places outside China. (Apple weather app)
Maps doesn't work for places outside China.
Connections to the App Store time out on daily basis.
I tried to restore a backup from iCloud once. Backup was 1 GB. Internet connection 100 MBit. Took 17 hours. Apple servers are super slow in China.
Predictive text goes berserk once one has dared to activate any keyboard apart from the English one.
WeChat on Apple Watch is tripe.
Messages is total, utter rubbish compared to WeChat.

I could go on.

Using an Apple product is simply a nuisance in China.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GrumpyMom Avatar
44 months ago

Everything Apple is rubbish in China truth be told.

I don't quite understand how the managers in Cupertino can expect to be successful in mainland China if their products simply don't work properly there.

There is no way Chinese Apple users or even Apple Store employees are able to give feedback. (Anyone from Apple reading this? Send me a message!)


Using an Apple product is simply a nuisance in China.

Wow that's quite a laundry list of problems. I had no idea Apple services performed so poorly in China. I thought Apple was having trouble making inroads into China for other reasons. Your post is quite an eye opener. It does help me to realize Apple investments in China may in fact be underdone rather than overdone.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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