“Around the same time that [Samsung’s] agreement with China UnionPay was announced, the bank announced a similar deal with Apple for the Apple Pay mPayment platform.”
Samsung and China UnionPay have officially announced their cooperation on bringing the former’s mPayment platform to China next year. The companies say that, pending approval by regulation authorities in the country, Samsung Pay could launch “as soon as early 2016.”
Rumors had been swirling prior to the official announcement, with some speculation that the mPayment service could launch in China as early as this month. That, of course, was highly optimistic, given the controlled nature of the country’s commercial sector; many will find the idea of a 2016 launch—and the cooperation of UnionPay, China’s major domestic bank—surprising enough in itself.
Of course, Samsung will face some competition. Around the same time that its agreement with China UnionPay was announced, the bank announced a similar deal with Apple for the Apple Pay mPayment platform. New reports are indicating that Apple Pay could arrive in the country as early as February; in any case, given the timing of these recent announcements, it seems likely that Apple and Samsung will be more or less in step with each other as they negotiate with domestic stakeholders and regulators.