American Express Co. chip credit cards are arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. American Express is expected to release third-quarter earnings figures on October 18. (Bloomberg)

American Express Co. said the People’s Bank of China approved its license to become the first foreign payments company allowed to build a network in the nation.

• AmEx formed a joint venture with LianLian, a Chinese fintech-services firm, that will let charges on American Express-branded cards be cleared and settled in China, the New York-based company said Friday in a statement.

Key Insights

• The approval shows progress in payment networks’ battle for access to mainland China, which were one point of contention raised in the Trump administration’s trade talks.

• The company will have to battle rivals WeChat Pay and Alipay, which dominate the mobile-payment market in China.

• AmEx may have an opportunity to gain market share in the commercial and small-business segments, according to a note from Sanjay Sakhrani, an analyst at Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc.

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• For the full statement, click here.

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at, Steve Dickson, Daniel Taub

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