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Apple Pay rolling out in China on February 18

Tuesday 16 February 2016 | 12:44 PM CET

Apple Pay will be available in China from February 18 for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China customers, bank representatives said in recent social media posts.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on ICBC's posts on the projected launch. The lender is set to be joined by a raft of peers: Apple's China website lists 19 Chinese lenders as official Apple Pay partners, and state media reported two other lenders will also go live with the service from February 18.

Apple Pay's beginnings have been less than auspicious in other markets, including scepticism from retailers in its home market. But in China, Apple Pay's issue will be how to compete with dominant and entrenched players, serving shoppers accustomed to paying for goods and services with their handsets.

The social networking and gaming company Tencent Holdings and ecommerce company Alibaba Group, through its Internet finance affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, currently dominate the market.

China's state radio reported on its website that China Guangfa Bank and China Construction Bank said on social media they would also launch Apple Pay on February 18.

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