Starting from August 29, Apple users in China Mainland can finally use WeChat Pay in their App Stores and iTunes. This means that the two major online payment methods, Alipay and WeChat Pay, are both available in iOS app stores and iTunes.
The payment experience is similar to Alipay. Once users set up their WeChat Pay account, they don’t need to enter a password every time. The new function appears in the Featured page of App Store with detailed steps to finish the setup.
Apple supported Alipay in November 2016, which showed their eagerness to cater Chinese users. In China, the penetration of credit card accounts is much lower than developed countries. And online payment, especially mobile payment, has replaced any other payments in the cashless society.
An earlier report published by Tencent (the creator of QQ and WeChat, two most important social media platforms in China) showed that over 70% of respondents said they could go for more than a week with just 100 RMB (US$ 14.7), and 84% were comfortable going out with just their mobile phone to pay everything.
Compared to Alipay’s 13 years of history, WeChat Pay only was founded in August 2013. But since the Chinese New Year of 2015, the function became widely popular for exchanging virtual hongbao (red envelopes). Now, WeChat Pay claims 40% of market share while Alipay secures 54%.