Huawei Pay launched in China

Handset maker Huawei this week announced the launch of its own mobile payment technology, the first among Chinese mobile hardware vendors, to compete with foreign peers including Apple and Samsung.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

The landing of Apple Pay and upcoming Samsung Pay has prompted local Chinese firms to speed up their chase, with telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies this week announcing its own mobile payment technology Huawei Pay.

The all-new payment service, which is expected to come along with Huawei's smartphones and wearable products, currently has support from only one local lender -- the Bank of China, according to a Sina news report on Thursday.

It is a far cry in comparison with Apple Pay, which has drawn support from 19 Chinese participating banks since its debut in China on February 18.

Huawei failed to reveal any specifics about the service during their press conference. But the prospect of Huawei Pay is rosy, given it shipped 108 million smartphones in 2015 -- the first Chinese handset vendor to ship more than 100 million smartphones in a year despite a market slowdown.

The NFC-backed technology for Huawei Pay has already been installed on Huawei's Mate S released in December 2015. When a handset is placed against a "QuickPass" marked POS machine, it will automatically awaken the Huawei Pay feature and the transaction will conclude when the consumer passes the fingerprint authentication.

Some Chinese reports indicate that a number of other Chinese smartphone makers, such as Xiaomi, ZTE, and Lenovo, are also developing their own mobile payment system.

However, an expert named Hao Zhujing in the Sina report believes these emerging payment methods are unlikely to threaten the dominance of Alibaba's Alipay and Tencent's WeChat Wallets in China, which could add in supporting banks' credit cards and debit cards and make payments through scanning QR codes at merchants.

In late 2015, Alibaba said it owned 400 million verified Alipay users, and 50,000 shops in some 20 countries outside China had already supported Alipay scan-payment methods. The company vows to extend its service to 500,000 overseas shops by the end of 2016.

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