Date: Thursday, February 18th, 2016, 08:48
The rumors were true.
Apple Pay launched in China on February 18th.
Apple Pay has gone live in China, making it the fifth country where Apple Pay is officially available. Implemented through a partnership with UnionPay, China’s state-run interbank network, Apple Pay in China can be used by iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch owners with an eligible China UnionPay debit or credit card.
With the launch, Apple has inked deals with 19 of the biggest lenders in China, which will see 80 percent of credit and debit cards in China eligible for use with Apple Pay.
In retail locations in China, Apple Pay is available on the iPhone 6 and later and the Apple Watch at any location that has a UnionPay-compatible point-of-sale system. Within apps, Apple Pay purchases can be made using an iPhone or iPad that supports NFC, which includes the iPhone 6 and later and the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and iPad Pro.
Apple had initially announced its intention to launch Apple Pay in China in December of 2015, although “relevant tests and certification” required by Chinese regulators apparently held up this process. Initial signs of Apple Pay’s adoption in the country began to surface in January with the service launching today.
Apple Pay is also available in the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia, with plans to extend it to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain later in the year. In Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain, Apple Pay is available or being made available through a partnership with American Express.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.