Today marks the beginning of Apple Pay's entry into China, a country that Steve Jobs never visited as company chief and that still has strong capital controls on money flow.
In an email delivered today to registered Apple developers, the company says, "You can now support Apple Pay for your customers in China, providing an easy, secure, and private way for them to pay using their China UnionPay credit and debit cards. Apple Pay lets users pay for physical goods and services such as groceries, clothing, tickets, and reservations within your iOS apps."
In addition to working with CUP, Apple Pay will be connected to Lian Lian, PayEase, and YeePay services in mainland China.
Financial terms for the arrangement Apple has with these four Chinese companies was not released.
By entering China with Apple Pay, the maker of the iPhone will be competing with Alipay, the online payment affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba. There appears no intention for Alipay to yet provide Apple Pay with access to its hundreds of millions of users.