Windows Phone 8 Arrives in China with Alipay Support

Users can pay for apps with local credit and debit cards as well

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system is already available for purchase in China on devices coming from Nokia, HTC and Huawei, with a nice range of appealing features packed inside.

Among these, there’s one that should make both users and application developers happy, namely support for local payment options for applications and games purchased through the Windows Phone Store.

Windows Phone 8 was launched in China on the network of the largest wireless carrier there, namely China Mobile, which has over 710 million subscribers.

Those who purchase WP8 devices will be able to buy apps and games from the Windows Phone Store using local credit cards and debit cards, while also being able to take advantage of Alipay, a very popular local payment option, with over 800 million registered users.

“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,” Microsoft’s Todd Brix notes in a recent blog post.

Users making purchases from their devices will be able to pay with both Alipay and local credit and debit cards, but those making purchases through the web store will have to use Alipay to make purchases.

“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.”

Furthermore, Brix notes that Windows Phone 8 now supports Xbox games in China, which should prove a great option for the developers of such titles. Some of these games will be available for Windows Phone 7.8 devices as well, it seems.

The Windows Phone Store in China is a bit different than the international version, as it also features a new “sold by” field on the download page of apps, in addition to the name of the app publisher, Microsoft explains.

“That’s because we’re now partnering with MSN China, Sina, and Tencent to sell the apps and games in the Windows Phone Store in China,” Microsoft’s Mazhar Mohammed explains.

“Xbox games are also now available for purchase in the Windows Phone Store in China. These titles offer Xbox leaderboards, avatars, achievements and other features that Xbox gamers love. There are also thousands of great indie titles to choose from.”

Windows Phone 8 was also modified a bit for the launch in the country, with Sina Weibo integration in People Hub, for example. Windows Phone 7.5 and 7.8 devices will continue to be available in China, but the purchase of apps will require international credit cards, just as before.

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