The mobile payment market in China has taken off way quicker than the U.S. ($5.5tn versus $112 bn last year). But it is becoming more and more clear that despite Apple's concerted efforts, Tencent and Alibaba are emerging as the two winners with a combined 90% market share.
“Alipay and WeChat Pay are early movers,” Sun said. “They are still doing a lot of promotions, like giving cash rebates to encourage Chinese customers to use their payments system.” At one major Chinese bank, just 1 percent of 10 million-plus digital-banking customers have signed up for Apple Pay since it was rolled out, according to an executive at the bank. User activity has dropped to once every three months per user, on average, from once a month a year earlier, said the executive, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.