As a technology journalist, I have to be aware of almost everything that’s happening in the tech world, not only in the Windows or Microsoft world. And many other colleagues of mine are quite aware that right now is the moment when China is becoming a more interesting market for tech companies that it used to be before. Just look at Apple’s numbers for 2012, China is now a very serious market.
China has the biggest number of mobile subscribers and it’s only natural that foreign companies come in China and try to develop their business. And Microsoft isn’t sleeping with regards to this. Recently, Microsoft has announced that they are going to support AliPay as payment method for Windows Phone 8 and so, even for Windows 10, Windows 8. This move is obvious – Redmond needs more traction from Chinese developers and they are willing to do what it takes to obtain it.
Also, recently it was announced that AliPay has reported that in 2012, the amount of their mobile payments has increased by 550%! Yes, that’s right – five times more! Ballmer wasn’t sleeping and he probably instructed his subalterns to get to work. So, as a result, AliPay payments are now possible in Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft adds AliPay as payment option in Windows Phone 8, Windows 10
AliPay for Chinese folks is just like PayPal for Americans and Western Europeans – is a very comfortable method of paying online. But what’s unbelievable is the amount of users it has – almost 800 million. Probably this is what convinced Microsoft to adopt this spread payment option. With this move, Microsoft wants to encourage the app development in the Windows Phone store and also in the Windows 8 one, which even now seems scarce to some.
Right now, AliPay users can also get a touch of Windows 10, Windows 8 through the Wndows 8 Xbox app, so technically, AliPay payments are also available for Windows 8. If this “experiment” proves to be a success, I think Microsoft will continue and will introduce AliPay as legit payment options for the entire Windows 8 store, as well. Microsoft boasts and say that they are the first large OS to support AliPay as official payment solution. Here’s what else Microsoft said in their announcement:
Needless to say, this is a significant opportunity to reach new users – a good reason to visit the Dev Center to cross-submit your app for the China market today and over the coming months localize or customize your app to increase its appeal to users in China. And if you’re a game developer, Windows Phone 8 now supports Xbox games in China.
Let’s hope that this will have the desired effect and will help developers earn money for their work. And with this occasion I also hope for Microsoft to make it possible to pay with PayPal in the Windows 8, Windows 10 Store.
UPDATE: AliPay Payments is no longer supported in the Microsoft Store. Currently, the Chinese store supports only three payment methods: MasterCard, Visa or Credit Card. If you own an English or US credit, MasterCard or Visa card, you can then buy the apps from the Microsoft UK/US Store.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.