Writing for Fast Company, Chris Gayomali pointed out that Apple is on to a winner if they somehow managed to team up with Alibaba to launch Apple Pay in China:
Off the top of your head, what would you guess is the single biggest mobile payment system in the world? PayPal? Square? Maybe Google Wallet?
The answer is Alipay, the mobile payment wallet owned by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. In February, Alipay became the single biggest digital payment platform in the world. In 2013, Hong Kong newspaper the Standard reported that Alipay processed nearly $150 billion in mobile transactions, which makes the platform larger than PayPal and Square combined.[/su_quote]
Gayomali piece was in response to a new report from the Wall Street Journal in which a senior Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. executive told the publication that a payment with Apple Inc would focus on the Chinese and the two parties are currently discussing specifics of a possible partnership.
Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai told the Wall Street Journal:
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.
The two companies are looking into whether there are opportunities to work together since Apple would have certain restrictions and limitations on operating payments businesses in China.[/su_quote]
I believe Apple is pulling all the right strings to make Apple Pay a success.