Hong Kong (CNN Business)American Express just became the first US credit card company to get the green light to start building its own payments network in China.
The company said Friday that the Chinese central bank has given it preliminary approval to handle payments in yuan. AmEx (AXP
) can now start setting up the payments network through a joint venture with LianLian Group, its Chinese partner.
In every other market around the world, AmEx processes transactions through its own network, whose hub is in Phoenix, Arizona. But in China, they have been handled by state-controlled payments giant China UnionPay.