Apple has launched a large-scale trade-in program on Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace to boost its sales in China, allowing Android users to jump ship and buy into the US tech giant’s ecosystem.

Previously, Apple’s Giveback program was only available through the company’s retail stores. Its Tmall trade-ins make the initiative more accessible for users and all major product categories, from iPhone to Mac, are included.

The trade-in program is not only restricted to Apple products. It covers nearly all of the mainstream Android phones manufactured by major smartphone makers, including Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, HTC, OnePlus and Lenovo.

After entering Apple’s flagship store on Tmall, a user’s device will be automatically identified and given a valuation accordingly. The service will also offer a free pickup and delivery service.

Although Apple conducts trade-in initiatives every year, it’s rare for the Cupertino firm to push it at such a scale, including various promotion channels and products covered.

The company is under growing pressure to maintain its dominance in the global smartphone industry. Competition in China is especially fierce given the rise of domestic rivals.

China’s homegrown smartphone brands like Huawei and Oppo continue to overshadow their international peers on domestic turf. Also, the trade-in program comes shortly after a court in the eastern Chinese city of Fuzhou banned the sale of some iPhone models following accusations the company infringed on disputed Qualcomm patents.

Despite the ban, Apple continues to sell its smartphones in the Chinese market. It attempted to resolve the dispute by updating its software. Qualcomm said it would take further action if Apple continued to disobey the court’s injunction.

Over the last few weeks, Apple has unveiled new marketing offers for iPhone XS and iPhone XR in a number of key markets, including the US and Japan.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at

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