Apple has confirmed that it is bringing Apple Pay to China in 2016.
Late last month, a report emerged that Apple had struck deals with China’s four state-run banks to bring its mobile payment system to the country.
Now Apple itself has confirmed that its payment system is coming to China. It recently announced a partnership with China UnionPay, the bankcard network that operates the country’s inter-bank payments, to bring the Apple Pay service to China “early 2016.”
Apple Pay in China will work in conjunction with QuickPass, which is China UnionPay’s own contactless payment technology.
All that’s required are the usual “tests and certification” processes from Chinese regulators, which should be a formality. Once passed, China could become the fifth country to adopt Apple Pay after the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
Hong Kong, Spain, and Singapore are also in the works, and could even pip China to the post depending on how long the certification process stretches on for.
Related: Android Pay vs Apple Pay: How do they compare?
“China is an extremely important market for Apple,” said Apple’s Eddy Cue, “and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience.”
Of course, Chinese customers already have and use a number of existing mobile payment systems, so Apple is marching into a far more competitive market than it has in previous Apple Pay territories.
Next, see how we got on with Apple Pay when it launched in the UK: