Apple is one step closer to launching Apple Pay in China after quietly registering a new payment business in Shanghai's free-trade zone back in June.

China has become an increasingly important market for Apple in recent years. During the third quarter of 2015, China generated almost 27 percent of Apple's $46.9 billion in revenue, thanks mostly to the incredible demand for the iPhone there.

It's no surprise, then, that Apple is making China a priority for Apple Pay.

There's still no official word on when we can expect to see Apple Pay moving to Asia, but according to a report from Wenhui News, the move could be very close after Apple registered a new business in China that paves the way for its payments service.

"The Apple Inc. entity, named Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd., was registered in the city's free-trade zone on June 10," reports The Wall Street Journal. "Its business operations include technical consulting, services and system integration in the field of payments, the database showed."

This doesn't mean an Apple Pay launch is imminent in China, but it appears to be closer than ever now. It would be good to see the service make its debut ahead of the iPhone 6s launch on Friday, September 25, but that seems highly unlikely at this point.