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Samsung Pay following Apple Pay into China in 2016

Samsung has announced that its mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, is launching in China in the New Year.

The maker of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 has announced a deal with China UnionPay, the organisation that handles bank card payments for the country. UnionPay’s QuickPass NFC technology is already at the heart of the country’s thriving mobile payment ecology.

With this deal in place, Samsung has announced that Samsung Pay will go live in China “as soon as early 2016.”

If you’re experiencing a serious case of deja vu at the moment, it’s probably because you read our Apple Pay story earlier this morning.

As it turns out, whether by coincidence or otherwise, Samsung’s announcement follows hot on the heels of a very similar one from chief rival Apple. In fact, some of the wording in the two press releases is pretty much identical.

Related: Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay

Just like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay’s rollout is dependent on regulatory approval from the relevant Chinese authorities, which will take a fair amount of testing and hoop jumping to secure. Hence the rather vaguely hopeful “as soon as early 2016” phrase used by both Samsung and Apple.

We could be in for an almighty mobile payment tussle in arguably the world’s most important market in 2016. China already has a thriving domestic mobile payment scene, so it’ll be interesting to see how the world’s two biggest smartphone makers fare.

Debating whether to go Samsung or Apple this Christmas? Take a look at our smartphone buyers guide video:

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