A series of rumors about Apple working with UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China have been bouncing around since 2014 (one and two) but today is the day that Apple has made it official as our cover graphic denotes.
Reuters notes in a new report late today that Apple launched its mobile payment system in China on Thursday in a bid to convince the hundreds of millions of users of the country's entrenched, dominant services to switch.
Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, told Reuters in an interview in Beijing that "We think China could be our largest Apple Pay market." Bailey added that "China UnionPay and our Apple Pay solution have a huge advantage, given the footprint of China UnionPay. Its merchant acceptance network far exceeds what any of the other mobile platforms have today."
In an early boost, China's biggest lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), was among the banks that said earlier this week that customers would be able to use Apple Pay from Thursday. For more on this, read Reuters full report here.