Windows Phone 8: First Major Smartphone OS to Support Alipay in China

I wanted to call to your attention that Windows Phone 8 sales are beginning to ramp up in China and describe the huge reach and monetization opportunity this represents to the Windows Phone developer community.

A wide array of Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia, HTC and Huawei are now available for sale in China from a wide range of carrier and distribution partners. With the launch of Windows Phone 8 we’ve added China Mobile, the largest carrier in China with over 710 million subscribers.

A big aspect of this release is the introduction of new payment options available to customers in China. To date, the only payment option available for Windows Phone app purchase has been international credit cards. With Windows Phone 8, we now enable customers to purchase apps and games with local credit cards and debit cards as well as Alipay, which is a very popular payment option (with functionality similar to that in PayPal) in China with over 800 million registered accounts. Windows Phone Store is the first major smartphone OS app store to support Alipay for store purchase transactions and given the popularity of Alipay this provides a potential for a substantial increase in purchase transactions.

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.

For background on the experience customers will see, you will want to reference my colleague Mazhar Mohammed’s post today for a full overview of the Windows Phone Store capabilities in China as there are a few differences in this market.