Apple has announced plans to bring its mobile electronic payment system, Apple Pay, to China in the early months of 2016, as a result of agreements met with nationwide payment firm, UnionPay, earlier this year.
The company has given a loose estimate for Apple Pay’s arrival, but it is expected that the service will be established before February 8th, to capitalize on the shopping frenzy ahead of the Lunar New Year. The service will rival existing market leaders AliPay and WeChat Payment, which have seen high adoption rates in the region.
While rival services are already firmly established in China, Apple Pay has the advantage of being directly integrated into Apple's iOS, which results in a streamlined experience for an increased checkout speed. Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue claims that Apple Pay will offer a "convenient, private and secure payment" method for China, which is considered “an extremely important market for Apple".
UnionPay claims that 15 Chinese banks will adopt the payment system at launch, with more expected once the service is established in the market. The service will be supported by all of Apple's recent mobile devices and offer a majority of features seen in other countries.