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Apple share price up, now accepts UnionPay on app store in China

Apple Inc reached a deal with UnionPay, the only domestic bank card issuer in China, securing easier purchases for customers in the region.

In an effort to diversify payment methods for its Chinese users, Apple will now allow them to link their Apple ID with a debit or credit card issued by UnionPay. The move will enable users to purchase an application with only one touch.

“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, Senior vice president of Apples 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” he added.

Earlier this year the company launched Apple Pay, its own payment service which lets iPhone users to settle transaction in stores like Walgreen and McDonald’s by holding their phone near a special sensor. However Apply Pay is not yet available in China, due to the countrys complex banking payment system.

Prior to the agreement with UnionPay, Apple was using top-up system for its application store in China, with a 50 yuan minimum value. However with the deal, consumers using a debit or a credit card issued by UnionPay, will have the exact amounted of their purchase deducted directly from their bank account.

The deal with UnionPay, which dominates the processing of yuan-denominated payments, may help Apple to overcome the technical and regulatory barriers and implement its payment service in China.

Another option for the technological giant is to team up Alibaba. Last month Jack Ma, CEO of the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, said the company might be interested in partnering with Apple. Tim Cook, CEO of the California-based company, said he would meet with Mr. Ma, but didnt disclose any additional information.

Alibabas Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said it is possible that the companys payment affiliate to provide back-end services for Apple Pay. The move will allow Chinese iPhone users to settle transactions with Apples payment system using money from their Alipay accounts.

Apple Inc gained 1.21% on Friday and closed at $114.18 in New York, marking a one-year increase of 52.24%. On Monday the stock gained 0.28% to trade at €91.15 at 09:18 GMT in Frankfurt. The company is valued at $669.65 billion. According to CNN Money, the 44 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Apple Inc have a median target of $116.00, with a high estimate of $143.00 and a low estimate of $60.00. The median estimate represents a 1.59% increase from the last price of $114.18.

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