Beijing’s public transport payment system drops the ball on Apple and favors Android devices

15 August 2017

Public transport network in Beijing is introducing the new payment method allowing owners of Android-based devices to tap and pay for the fare while travelling across the city. Yikatong, Beijing’s public transport payments provider announced the launch of its contactless payment application available for Android devices, leaving owners of iPhones out of play due to Apple’s intractability about providing access to NFC functionality of its smartphones.

While this strong position played in its favor in Australia as the regulator supported its rights and refused to satisfy the claims filed by the coalition of the major Australian banks, the East will likely prove tricky for pro-Western ambitions of Apple, as China is not Australia after all, and iPhone sales are sadly dropping to make it worse.

As Apple goes on sticking to colors, preventing any other services except its Apple Pay payment system from using the integrated NFC functionality, iPhone owners are left unable to pay for the transport fare with the new contactless service.

Apple is squeezing hard into the occupied payments market in China led by domestic tycoons such as Alipay and WeChat Pay and failing to be listed even in the top ten charts of payment applications since its launch at the beginning of last year. As of today Apple Pay holds under 1% share of all mobile transactions in China.

While in London Apple Pay may be used for paying fares in public transport network, Beijing has adopted another policy launching its own mobile payment architecture, which is expected to be followed by other cities nationwide.

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