Retail news round-up on February 18, 2016: Asda asks for discounts from suppliers to fight rivals and Apple Pay to launch in China this week.

Asda reportedly seeks supplier discounts to fire price war

Walmart-owned Asda is demanding discounts and cash contributions worth millions of pounds from its suppliers to take on rival discounters Aldi and Lidl by reducing prices.

The supermarket giant is calling in suppliers for individual discussions about ways to slash prices by as much as 10%, according to The Guardian.

Template agreements issued to suppliers also demand other payments – “incremental investment” – to cover the costs of promotions and other initiatives, such as new product development.

An industry source told the newspaper that suppliers had been asked for “significant amounts of money”. He added: “Individual suppliers are being asked for millions of pounds and asked what they want in return.”

Apple brings mobile payment service to China

Chinese shoppers will soon be able to capitalise on Apple’s mobile payment and digital wallet.

The tech giant is to launch its Apple Pay service in the country this week, thanks to its partnership with state-owned bankcard association China UnionPay.

The iPhone maker said the lender's credit and debit card holders can use Apple Pay to make a payment for in-store purchases.

Apple confirmed its expansion into China on its website.