Apple commands Siri to operate on Alipay in China
In another sign Apple Pay is finding tough footing in China, the tech giant is allowing its voice-command technology to work in Alipay, the dominant payment app in the country.
Alipay users can tell Apple's Siri to open the Alipay payment screen rather than doing so manually, according to Abucus, a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alipay affiliate Alibaba.
Operating through QR code technology rather than the Near Field Communication model of Apple Pay and other competitors, China's Alipay and WeChat Pay control 90% of the mobile pay market in China.
Apple has made moves to acknowledge Alipay's dominance in the market, announcing two months ago it had established a partnership with Alibaba Financial affiliate Alibaba to accept Alipay payments in the Apple stores in China.
Rumors about Apple and Alibaba working together on various aspects of mobile commerce have swirled for the past five years, based in part on Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Apple CEO Tim Cook discussing the potential of teaming up on the payments landscape.
Allowing Siri to operate on the Alipay platform is considered a departure for Apple, which up to now has kept its operating technology close to its vest, while still embracing the concept of app developers working in an open Apple network.