China’s top domestic smartphone vendor Huawei is seeking to roll out their own mobile payment service, Huawei Pay, in partnership with Bank of China. The announcement comes just as Apple Pay and Samsung pay have begun fledgling services in the country.

The new payment service will support Huawei’s hardware products ranging from smartphones to wearables, according to the company. The partnership plans to integrate the online and offline resources of the state-run bank to launch the service, which still has no solid launch date.

Bank of China is the only partner currently working with Huawei Pay, meaning the service still has a lot of partnerships to seal if they want to catch up toApple Pay, which launched in China with 19 bank partners, including Bank of China.

Like Apple Pay, Huawei Pay will be enabled by near-field communications (NFC) technology. Users will have to switch on NFC function and connect their bank cards, mobile devices that contain a NFC chip will interact with in-store contactless readers when users press their devices against them. Huawei will have to release updated devices before the launch of the service.

Xiaomi has also set their sights on the sector. The smartphone maker acquired stakes in third-party payment company Jiefu Ruitong Co., Ltd. earlier this year.

While Apple Pay and Samsung pay pose a significant threat, Huawei Pay’s top priority for now is to compete with the less technical homegrown mobile payment systems: Alipay and WeChat Payment. The two players make up an estimated 80% of China’s mobile payment market, and are powered by QR-code payment technology.

Image credit: ShutterStock

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.

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