Apple Pay Seeks Feb. Launch in China, Increased Adoption in U.K.

Nov. 25, 2015

Apple Pay Seeks Feb. Launch in China, Increased Adoption in U.K. Breaking into China with Apple Pay has not been completely smooth for the world’s most profitable company, but Apple said it will launch the mobile-payment service in China in February, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Published reports earlier in the year suggested Apple was struggling to make the deals necessary for a Chinese launch, but yesterday’s report indicated the Cupertino, Calif.-based device maker has struck deals with China’s four state-run banks: Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China.

While neither Apple nor representatives of any of the banks commented for the story, the report said much of the resistance Apple had been running into centered around the fees it would charge and that, given the number of different agencies responsible for financial services and e-commerce in China, regulatory approvals could be slow in coming. The company hopes to launch before Feb. 8, which is China’s Spring Festival holiday.

Separately, MasterCard has begun a promotion in the U.K. that would offer free fares on public transportation in London for commuters using Apple Pay. On Nov. 23, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 of this year, travelers who pay for subway, train or bus tickets in London using Apple Pay with a linked MasterCard can have fares of up to £27.90 ($42.05) refunded.