If you’re from China and love Apple, here’s some good news for you -- you can now pay for apps from Apple's App Store in Chinese yuan.
Apple has tied up with about 20 Chinese banks to make it easy for Chinese customers to pay for apps.
The move should come as a great relief for Chinese users of iPhones, iPads and iPods. Earlier, they had to make payments using a dual-currency credit card -- something not every Chinese has.
That restriction compelled many users into hacking their devices so that they could buy apps from other sources. Others would resort to unscrupulous means of attempting to buy apps from the store by using phony identities or suspicious gift cards.
Greater China now accounts for about 12 percent of the total revenue that Apple generates.
Tapping the lucrative Chinese market
The move is one of the many ways Apple is expanding its reach across the globe towards more and more users worldwide. The company had earlier drawn criticism for failing to pay any attention to the Chinese market.
Apple has been expanding itself in the country in the past couple of years, beginning with new retail outlets and an online store for Apple products. The App Store was also customized for the Chinese market, and now features Simplified Chinese characters.
The results have been impressive. Greater China now accounts for about 12 percent of the total revenue that Apple generates. Last year, it was a just a little over $3 billion, but has now jumped to $13 billion.
The exclusive Apple store in Hong Kong is one of the famous Apple outlets in the country, contributing a significant portion of the revenue.
It ought to be noted that China happens to be the manufacturing hub of Apple and many other IT giants. Apple makes most of its products in Chinese factories which are then exported to countries across the globe.
Apple’s presence in China not without issues
The reason why Apple has been slow at tapping the potential of China is its regulatory environment. Navigating Chinese bureaucracy can be very difficult, including for currency conversion, and most American companies in China do their trade in dollars.
Beijing also imposes some extra hurdles in their path. The iPhone that Apple first launched in China came with its wireless internet capability disabled to abide by Chinese regulations.