A partnership between Apple Pay and Alipay, Alibaba’s payments company has been taken into consideration at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJD live event, where Alibaba’s founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma was asked whether he had taken this option into consideration.
“I am very interested in that,” Ma said. “A good marriage needs both sides to work.” Apple CEO Tim Cook agreed and approved the innitiative.
Cook, who recently made a visit to China where he hopes to open more Apple stores, said he was also open to any potential union. “I love what he’s done, I think he’s a brilliant guy. I think he has brilliant people at the company so if we can find some areas of common space, I love it.”
Alibaba operates several Internet services, including retail sites, online payments and streaming video. Ma said Alibaba is also helping U.S. food producers, including cherry farmers from Washington state and fishermen from Alaska, sell their harvests in China.
Apple Pay was launched on Oct. 20, and within three days, 1 million credit cards were already activated, said Tim Cook at a tech conference in Laguna Beach, Calif. He said more people are using Apple Pay than all of the other mobile payment systems combined. Apple Pay is a mobile payment system. Using an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, customers enter credit card information and then use their phones to make payments at stores. Apple Pay is already accepted at 220,000 store locations, including Whole Foods, Walgreens, McDonald’s, Macy’s, and Nike, and more retailers are expected to join.
However, some merchants such as CVS and Rite Aid have refused the service. Cook called the tension between Apple and these merchants a “skirmish.” He touted Apple Pay as already No. 1 in contactless payments, adding that the service activated 1 million credit and debit cards in its first 72 hours.
Repeating a favorite dig at competitors such as Google and Facebook, Cook said Apple doesn’t collect user data or purchase information. “We don’t want to know what you buy. We’re not Big Brother; we’ll leave that to other people.” At the three-day tech conference organized by The Wall Street Journal, Cook also touted the upcoming release of an Apple smartwatch and dropped broad hints about Apple’s work on a new television product, which has been rumored for years.