MarketBite

Apple App Store to Accept Payments in Yuan

Posted on: November 18, 2011


Apple Inc. is now accepting payment in Chinese yuan for users’ App Store downloads, the company’s latest move in what has become a key growth market.

Customers of more than 20 Chinese banks can now make payments to an App Store account to buy games and other software applications for their iPhones, iPads and iPods.

The change makes it easier for users in China to pay for downloads. They previously needed a dual-currency credit card—a requirement that led many to either hack their iPhones in order to use applications from other sources, or make purchases in the App Store using false identities and fraudulent gift cards.

Apple is likely to sell “millions” more applications in China because of the change, though some users will still load pirated apps, said Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based consulting firm BDA China Ltd.

The move comes after Apple opened a version of its App Store using simplified Chinese characters about a year ago, making it easier for local users to navigate.

Apple aims to open new retail stores and expand the reach of its products in China. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in October named Greater China—a region that includes mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong—the company’s “fastest growing major region by far,” accounting for 16% of revenue in the most recent quarter.

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