Samsung Electronics and China UnionPay have joined forces to launch Samsung Pay in China.

Samsung's mobile payment service operates on modern Samsung handsets including Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note5 devices. In China, the mobile wallet currently supports credit and debit cards from nine banks: China CITIC Bank, China Construction Bank, China Everbright Bank, China Guangfa Bank, China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd, China Merchants Bank, Hua Xia Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Ping An Bank.

The mobile wallet will eventually support six additional banks that include Bank of China, Bank of Beijing, Bank of Communications.

“In compliance with national laws and regulations, thanks to cooperating with CUP and many banks, we ultimately want to make Samsung Pay available to as many consumers as possible in China, so that everyone can have the opportunity to enjoy the simplicity, safety and convenience of this mobile payment solution,” said Injong Rhee, Samsung’s head of research and development for software and services of mobile communications business, in a press release.

Samsung’s announcement comes after Apple secured banking partnerships for the launch of Apple Pay in China with China UnionPay in February. The support of the two rival payment systems in China is seen as a possible defensive move by China UnionPay to ward off competition from rising domestic mobile payment rivals in China, including Alipay and Tencent.

“With the joint efforts of banks and Samsung, based on the safety testing and certification by relevant national testing agency, [China UnionPay] QuickPass starting Samsung Pay service will bring users safer and more convenient mobile payment choice.” said Hu Ying, assistant president of China UnionPay, in the release.

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