Tim Cook Says He’s “Very Bullish” on Apple Pay in China, Expects Quick Adoption

As part of his trip to discuss new environmental initiatives in China, such as partnering with the World Wildlife Fund to protect up to 1 million acres of forestland in the country, Apple CEO Tim Cook today told the Xinhua News Agency he’s confident Apple Pay will launch in the country (via Reuters).

Apple is in discussions with banks in China and Alibaba to launch Apple Pay in the country, as he told Xinhua in an interview.

“We very much want to get Apple Pay in China,” Cook told Xinhua during a visit to the country. “I’m very bullish on Apple Pay in China.”

Cook told the news agency he believes Apple Pay in China could take off faster than it has in the U.S. China’s largest payments service is Alipay, a subsidiary of Alibaba, headed by Jack Ma.

Back in November, rumours said Apple was engaged in talks with Alibaba to launch Apple Pay in the country. By leveraging a relationship with Alipay, Apple would be able to leverage existing agreements the latter has with over 200 Chinese financial institutions.

Back in April, the Wall Street Journal reported Apple Pay would launch in Canada sometime possibly in November. The race is on to see which country becomes the first expansion for Apple’s seamless mobile payments system, available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

IDC estimates released earlier today noted Apple’s smartphone domination continues in China, as the iPhone maker saw a whopping 62.1% growth in year-over-year shipments (sales in Apple’s case), whereas rival Samsung saw a decrease of 53% in the same period.

Earlier in the day, Cook joined Chinese social network Weibo, to the delight of customers.

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