Apple Pay will reportedly make its debut in China next February after Apple recently reached deals with China’s largest banks. Sources say the mobile payments service could still face hurdles from regulators, but Apple hopes to have it running before China’s Spring Festival holiday.
“The Cupertino, Calif., company has struck deals recently with China’s big four state-run banks,” reports The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with Apple’s plans. “The deals will allow potential Apple Pay users to link the service with their local bank accounts.”
China, which is an increasingly important market for Apple, has been waiting for Apple Pay since the service made its debut in the U.S. last October. Recent reports suggested a launch there was imminent after Apple set up a company in Shanghai, but it seems there’s still some months to wait.
WSJ adds that Apple Pay “could still face regulatory hurdles” from a number of government agencies, which oversee banking and e-commerce in China. However, Apple is hopeful that it can launch its payments service before the Spring Festival holiday on February 8.
It’s not yet clear how much Apple will charge for Apple Pay transactions in China. In the U.S., the Cupertino company currently receives 0.15% of all credit card transactions, and 0.5 cents per debit transaction. But it’s thought those fees have been a “sticking point” in negotiations in China.