Category Archives: china

China UnionPay debit and credit cards now accepted as payment method for Apple’s Chinese App Store

apple-tim-cook-china-mobile

China UnionPay is the largest bank card provider in the region, but the App Store has not supported the payment method up to now. Apple has announced that this inconvenience has now been resolved with customers in China now able to link their Apple ID with debit or credit cards from UnionPay.

The addition should help expand the reach of the App Store to even more customers, allowing Apple to bolster its number credit cards on file ahead of an Apple Pay launch in the country. Code references have already been found that show the iPhone 6 NFC element is ready to support China UnionPay purchases.

The press release notes that China is already Apple’s second largest App Store market, although it’s unclear if Apple is referring to downloads or purchases with that claim. Regardless, adding the number-one payment method in China can only be a good thing for further growth.

“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap.”

Apple is expected to announce support for Apple Pay in China in the coming months, with a deal rumored to have already been signed. Most recently, Tim Cook said he was in talks with Alibaba to integrate Alipay with the Apple Pay system. Officially, Apple has said it is working to bring Apple Pay to more US banks over time, as well as expand internationally.

Apple Adds UnionPay Payment Option for App Store Customers in China

BEIJING—November 17, 2014—Apple® today announced that the App Store℠ has added UnionPay as a payment option for customers in China. China UnionPay is the most popular payment card in China and will provide App Store customers with a simple and more convenient way to purchase their favorite apps. Customers can easily link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card for one-tap purchases.

“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap.”

As a bankcard network, China UnionPay operates China’s national inter-bank clearing and settlement system, develops the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network, promotes the issuance and usage of the UnionPay Card as well as other innovative payment solutions, so as to provide quality, efficient and safe payment services to cardholders. To date, the total number of UnionPay Cards issued both at home and abroad has exceeded 4.5 billion. The UnionPay network has been extended to all cities and rural areas in China. In addition, China UnionPay has enabled UnionPay Card acceptance in over 140 countries and regions through extensive cooperation with more than 400 institutions around the world. Additional information may be found at: www.unionpay.com.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Tagged: Apple pay, china, union pay, wallet

Continue reading more about AAPL Company, iOS, and china at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "China UnionPay debit and credit cards now accepted as payment method for Apple’s Chinese App Store" with our community.

US-China trade deal set to reduce manufacturing costs for Apple, aims to cut prices for consumers

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

A trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China looks set to reduce Apple’s manufacturing costs by removing import tariffs on components imported into the country.

Apple uses components from a number of countries around the world, notably Korea and Japan, which are imported into China for the assembly of iPhones, iPads and Macs. China currently imposes import tariffs on these components. The new deal would allow companies like Apple, Microsoft and HP to bring components into China free from these charges … 

The WSJ reports that while the agreement between the two countries needs to be ratified by the remaining 76 member countries of the Information Technology Agreement, agreement between the U.S. and China was seen as the key step.

Tuesday’s agreement between China and the U.S. clears a critical hurdle toward expanding the Information Technology Agreement, whose 78 members account for 97% of IT exports [...]

If other member economies approve the pact as expected, the new agreement would boost tech companies in the U.S., Japan and Taiwan, among others. The agreement could cover $1 trillion in trade, according to U.S. estimates.

The ultimate aim of the agreement is to cut costs for consumers, allowing the free passage of both parts and finished products between member countries. The hope is that the agreement will be finalized before the end of the year, and that lower prices will start filtering through to consumers at some point in 2015.

While Apple is course positioned at the premium end of the market, it does cut prices on occasion, such as the $100 drop across the range of MacBook Air models seen earlier this year.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices, Mac Tagged: AAPL, Agence France-Presse, Asia, Asia Pacific, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Associated Press, Beijing, china, Information Technology Agreement, iPad, iPhone, ITA, Mac, Obama, Pakistan, President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping

Visit 9to5Mac to find more special coverage of AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and iPhone.

What do you think? Discuss "US-China trade deal set to reduce manufacturing costs for Apple, aims to cut prices for consumers" with our community.

Possible Apple-Alibaba partnership could lead to greatly accelerated rollout of Apple Pay in China

apple-pay

The potential partnership between Apple and Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba could facilitate a far more rapid rollout of Apple Pay in the country than if Apple goes it alone, suggests a piece in the WSJ. Tim Cook first revealed that he was in talks with the company at the WSJ Digital conference last month.

One possible scenario is for Alibaba’s financial affiliate, which owns the Alipay electronic-payment business in China, to provide back-end services for Apple’s Apple Pay payment system, allowing iPhone users to pay with Apple Pay using the money from their Alipay accounts, Mr. Tsai said.

Such an arrangement would be significant for two reasons … 

First, Alibaba is the key player in online shopping in China, with a market share estimated at around 80%. Any partnership with the company would be hugely beneficial to Apple, especially if Alibaba customers can continue to use their existing accounts – providing a painless way to transition to Apple Pay.

Working with Alipay in China could give the company access to Alipay’s powerful transactions-settling system, which is already used by hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses. It would also let Apple take advantage of Alipay’s existing agreements with more than 200 Chinese financial institutions, which allow users to transfer money from their bank accounts to Alipay accounts.

Second, it potentially offers safe passage through the regulatory minefield Apple would otherwise face in China. Apple has not always enjoyed the most comfortable of relationships with the Chinese government, with the Chinese launch of the iPhone 6 delayed due to regulatory issues, and a phishing attack on iCloud linked to the Chinese government firewall. The Chinese government may be more amenable to a tie-in with a Chinese company than it would with Apple trying to push Apple Pay independently.

Tim Cook said during a recent visit to China that it was “just a matter of time” before China became Apple’s biggest source of revenue, and that Apple Pay was a priority.

Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list.

For Alibaba, too, a partnership with Apple makes sense. While the company dominates online shopping, it is less well established in bricks-and-mortar stores, relying on crude QR code and soundwave payment systems that aren’t widely supported by retailers. A partnership with Apple Pay would provide a fast route to supporting NFC payments in stores.

The mooted partnership is not a done deal, with no official statement yet from Apple, and Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai adopting a cautious tone in an interview with the WSJ: “We are positive about the potential cooperation, but it depends on the details being worked out.” It does, however, seem to make perfect sense for both players.

Update: Adding to the likelihood of the agreement, Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma discussed the potential Apple partnership with CNBC today:

Ma also suggested that Alipay could one day partner with Apple for a payments system. He indicated that “we’ve had great discussions, and I think both are interested.” The two firms’ partnership could even extend to hardware sales and cloud computing, he suggested.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: AAPL, Alibaba, Alipay, Apple China, Apple Inc, Apple pay, china, Foxconn, icloud, iPhone, Jack Ma, Ma Kai

For more news on AAPL Company, iPhone, and icloud continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Possible Apple-Alibaba partnership could lead to greatly accelerated rollout of Apple Pay in China" with our community.

Apple blocks WireLurker malware apps from opening, but needs to do more, argues security researcher

wirelurker

Apple has now blocked the launching of Mac apps infected with WireLurker malware, after earlier revoking security certificates to prevent them being installed on new devices. WireLurker was capable of infecting non-jailbroken iOS devices when connected to a Mac running one of the compromised apps. Over 400 Mac apps in a third-party Chinese app store were affected.

In a written statement, an Apple spokesperson said:

We are aware of malicious software available from a download site aimed at users in China, and we’ve blocked the identified apps to prevent them from launching. As always, we recommend that users download and install software from trusted sources.

However, a security researcher says that it would be easy for other attackers to exploit the exact same weakness … 

Jonathan Zdziarski responded to the Palo Alto Networks white paper with a blog post in which he argues that while WireLurker was easy to block, that may not be true of other attacks using the same approach.

The bigger issue here is not WireLurker itself; WireLurker appears to be in its infancy, and is mostly a collection of scripts, property lists, and binaries all duct-taped together on the desktop, making it easy to detect. The real issue is that the design of iOS’ pairing mechanism allows for more sophisticated variants of this approach to easily be weaponized [...]

While WireLurker appears fairly amateur, an NSA or a GCHQ, or any other sophisticated attacker could easily incorporate a much more effective (and dangerous) attack like this.

The problem, he explains, is the extent of the power granted to trusted devices. Once you pair an iPhone and a Mac, say, and say yes to each becoming a trusted device, there is virtually no limit to what the Mac is able to do to the iPhone. Zdziarski believes there are three simple steps Apple should take to reduce the risks.

First, he says, users need to be given much more specific warnings about the dangers of installing unsigned apps. At the moment, a simple OK prompt is all it takes for a Mac to install a new app on an iOS device.

Second, Apple should disable Enterprise Mode by default. Enterprise Mode is intended to allow businesses to easily roll out bespoke software to iOS devices, but a feature used by a small minority of users puts everyone at risk.

A vast majority of non-enterprise users will never need a single enterprise app installed, and any attempt to do so should fail. So why doesn’t Apple lock this capability out unless it’s explicitly enabled [by] a switch in settings.

Third, Mac apps should have to ask the user for permission to install software on iOS devices, with only iTunes and Xcode granted permission by default.

Apple should manage access to “Trusted Pairing Relationships” with devices the same way it manages access permissions for contacts and geolocation. An application should have to ask for permission to access this privileged data.

The blog also goes into more technical detail about additional steps Apple could take, but the above would, he says, be easy to implement.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices, Mac Tagged: AAPL, App Store (iOS), Apple Inc, china, iOS, iOS malware, iPad, iPhone, Mac App Store, Mac malware, OS X, Palo Alto Networks

For more news on AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Apple blocks WireLurker malware apps from opening, but needs to do more, argues security researcher" with our community.

First malware targeted at non-jailbroken iPhones spreads in China

(Updated with Apple statement below.) A new class of malware targeted at OS X and iOS is spreading like wildfire in China, according to new research by Palo Alto Networks. Dubbed WireLurker, the trojan hides itself in apps distributed through