Apple Pay is finally coming to China

Apple Pay is finally coming to China

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Tim Cook has described this as a top priority for Apple.
Photo: Photo: Adrian Korte CC

After more than a year of calling it “top of the list” in the company’s priorities, Apple today announced that it is partnering with China UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China, the country Tim Cook has been outspoken about calling Apple’s biggest market of the future.

As elsewhere, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to pay for goods using their iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad. The deal has the support of 15 of China’s leading banks, and will go into effect “as soon as” early 2016.

“China UnionPay is dedicated to promoting payment innovations and providing secure, convenient mobile payment experiences for its hundreds of millions of cardholders, aligning multiple parties in the industry,” said Chai Hongfeng, executive VP of China UnionPay in a statement. “We’re very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass.”

While the announcement being officially made means that things are looking positive for Apple Pay’s China debut, it is worth noting that the deal must still pass through the necessary regulatory channels and certification process first. To do this it must prove that it is in compliance with the national mobile payment and financial industry standards in China.

So far, the main sticking point in negotiations has been the inability to negotiate an amount that Apple will claim per Apple Pay transaction that is acceptable to both Apple and Chinese banks.

Source: Apple