"The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a statement.
Apple has tried to drive the adoption of mobile payments on its platforms, but China's complex banking payment system makes it difficult to carry out any kind of online payment.
Before UnionPay was added, Apple mainly relied on a top-up system for its app store in China, with a 50 CNY ($8.16) minimum value. The UnionPay payment option means money is transferred directly from a bank account for the exact amount of each purchase.
© Thomson Reuters 2014