Apple Pay will finally launch in China this week

Apple Pay will finally launch in China this week

While we’ve known Apple Pay would be launching in China for quite a while, there is finally a confirmed time and date – February 18, 5AM local time.

Confirmation came in the form of a public WeChat post from China’s Guangfa Bank and was followed up with further confirmation from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

With China being the world’s most populous country, it seems surprising to think that Apple took this long to implement the payment system there. China is the fifth country Apple Pay will go live in, after launching in the US, Canada, UK and Australia in 2015.

Apple has taken a similar approach in China as it did in the US by partnering with UnionPay, which holds a monopoly on the country’s credit and debit card systems. When Apple Pay launched with Visa, Mastercard and American Express in the US, it was instantly covering almost 90 percent of the country’s possible card transactions.

It is reported that Apple Pay will be available with as many as 20 banks in China, including China Merchants Bank and SPD Bank later this year.

Users will need to have an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch running iOS 9.2 or Watch OS 2.1 or newer to use the new payments system.

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