Big bets continue in Apple's international push
It is perhaps one of the biggest moves to date as Apple continues to see China as a pivotal powerhouse for its myriad products and services.
As of now, customers are allowed to pay for apps and other digital content with the yuan, China's local currency.
Apple now has a strong presence in the huge country, allowing residents there to buy iPhones and iPads from official Apple locations. But if those same people wanted to actually buy content for their devices, they needed a credit card that could tender payment in dollars or another form of currency.
That led to rampant pirating, or worse identity and credit card theft. Now, though, Apple has embraced more than 20 Chinese banks, allowing the local currency to be fully accepted. This comes after Apple launched a special Chinese version of the App Store, making it easier for locals to find content.
Apple's fiscal year ended in September, and it reported $13 billion in revenue from China over the previous 12 months. That accounts for 12% of the entire company's business, and marks a four-fold increase over the previous fiscal year, when China only brought in $3 billion.
The issue with accepting yuan is that it can be a difficult, bureaucracy-filled process to convert yuan into dollars, so for Apple it's unclear how that money will realistically translate. Nevertheless, it opens up an enormous potential and there is no doubt that the Chinese market is a key player for Apple in the near future.
The company will no doubt continue to struggle with regulations and government impositions in the region, but so far it's been doing a nice job in that capacity.