Apple is in discussions with Chinese banks and Alibaba over the potential launch of Apple Pay in China.
Apple CEO Tim Cook landed in China on Monday, visiting in order to promote Apple's new environmental initiative in the country. The new scheme is focused on the protection of forestry and promoting renewable energy, and may protect up to one million acres of managed forests used for pulp, paper and wood the company uses.
At the time, speaking to the local Xinhua news agency, Cook also touched upon the subject of Apple Pay, the firm's payment service which allows consumers to pay for goods by using Apple devices such as the iPhone. Apple Pay was launched last year in the US, joining a plethora of other services which offer contactless payment.
"We very much want to get Apple Pay in China," Cook said. "I'm very bullish on Apple Pay in China."
The executive is currently negotiating the future of Apple Pay with Chinese banks and Alibaba's founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma Yun.
Listed on the NASDAQ last year, Alibaba is China's largest e-commerce and payment service -- and could prove to be a powerful ally for Apple due to its established customer base and presence in the country.
The Apple CEO described the launch of Apple Pay in the US as a "huge start," but believes the payment service could be even bigger in China. In October last year, Cook said he hopes to adapt all of Apple's technology to work for the Chinese market, which he considers a "key" factor for the tech giant's future.
In related news, Cook joined Sina Weibo this week -- a Twitter-like social media website which replaces the banned Twitter platform in China. Within hours of creation, the executive's account attracted 300,000 followers and drew over 34,000 comments.
Read on: Apple