pple and China UnionPay announced a partnership to bring the digital wallet of Apple Pay to China on Friday, cashing in on the popularity of such services in the country.
China UnionPay cardholders will be able to link their bank cards to Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad and make payments without cash or cards, according to a joint statement from the companies.
It said Apple Pay will be made available to China UnionPay cardholders as soon as early 2016 after certification by Chinese regulators.
China is Apple's second-largest market after the United States.
Chinese third party payment firms handled online payments of 3.65 trillion yuan (563 billion U.S dollars) in the third quarter, up nearly 11 percent from the previous quarter, according to research company Analysys.
Market leader Alipay has more than 400 million users, including 270 million who regularly make payments using mobile phones.
China UnionPay, which has issued more than five billion bank cards home and abroad, launched its own digital wallet for phones jointly with over 20 commercial banks last Saturday.
"China UnionPay is dedicated to promoting payment innovations and providing secure, convenient payment experiences for its hundreds of millions of cardholders, aligning multiple parties in the industry," said Chai Hongfeng, executive vice president of China UnionPay.