In an effort to make Apple products more affordable to Chinese consumers, Apple is working with Chinese mobile payments network Alipay to offer up to two years of interest-free financing, The Wall Street Journal first reported.
The companies reportedly told customers about the new borrowing option this week, which requires a minimum purchase of 4,000 yuan ($595) to qualify, the Journal reported. This would give more customers the ability to buy the company's latest iPhone models, including the XR, which is the most affordable option in Apple's new lineup at 6,499 yuan, according to Apple's China website.
Sales growth in China has been a concern for Apple investors since CEO Tim Cook warned in January of economic pressures in the region and slowing iPhone sales. In its first-quarter 2019 earnings, Apple reported a nearly $5 billion drop in revenue from China compared with the previous year, to $13.17 billion during the December quarter.
"If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100 percent from iPhone and it's primarily in greater China," Cook told CNBC's Josh Lipton in an interview after Apple's revised guidance announcement in January. "It's clear that the economy began to slow there for the second half and what I believe to be the case is the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy." Read more