Chinese iPhone owners are now able to send money through instant messaging service WeChat as part of a new agreement between Apple and the app’s developer.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant has just signed a deal with Tencent, which owns WeChat. The companies are said to be on a “mutual understanding” after a bitter battle over App Store rules.
Last year, Apple banned the app’s financial tipping feature on the grounds that it apparently violated the terms of the App Store. However, the company has since changed its position on the situation. The tipping feature is popular among users of the app because it gives them an easy way to make payments to content creators and their peers.
The deal will also see the company improve the feature so that individuals can send money to each other through WeChat. Other firms are likely to benefit from these changes, too.
Alan Zhang, an executive at Tencent, confirmed Apple’s change of heart on Monday. He said: “In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features.
He explained that the two companies are now on good terms. “We now all share a mutual understanding and we’ll soon bring back the ‘tip’ function,” added Zhang.
But Apple has become tough with third-party payment apps in recent years. It’s previously argued that they clash with a payment mechanism in the App Store.
However, the company has since amended this policy to allow tip-based functionalities. In-app purchases work in a similar way and have been popular among iOS developers for years.