Updated from 4:17 p.m. to include additional information on ShoreTel.
SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) – Apple (AAPL) unveiled a key strategy to appeal to China's massive consumer market, with its announcement Sunday of a partnership with China's bankcard network UnionPay. Meanwhile, China's large ecommerce player JD.com (JD) plunged, following its quarterly results, and ShoreTel (SHOR) tanks as Mitel (MITL) walks from a buyout deal.
As part of its UnionPay partnership, Apple's App Store is adding UnionPay as a payment option. Customers in China can link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card to execute app transactions on their Apple device with one tap. One of the important things for Apple investors to note is that the number of UnionPay cards that have been issued in China and abroad exceed 4.5 billion, according to Apple.
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"The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services in a press release, announcing the partnership.
Cute added that China is Apple's second largest market for app downloads. With UnionPay, Apple stands to pick up even more app customers, with the total number of cards issued having surpassed 4.5 billion.