China Unicom, the country’s second largest mobile operator, is set to launch an NFC-based service for mobile payments in Shanghai though a partnership with China Merchants Bank.

And market leader China Mobile is about to demo its NFC platform for the first time at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Both events are scheduled for December.

China Unicom’s subscribers will be able to store China Merchants Bank credit cards on their SIM cards so that they can make payments in outlets which have installed the Quick Pass point-of-sale technology offered by China Unionpay, the country’s payments network. There are more than 160,000 such merchants in Shanghai.

Participating merchants include Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Watsons. The aim is to follow the launch in Shanghai with a national rollout although timing is not specified.

China Unicom plans to offer the service on Android handsets including the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, according to reports.

China Merchants Bank is also working with handset vendor HTC on a recently-launched mobile payments service in the country.

The operator is following rival China Mobile which plans to launch a large-scale trial in February 2013 with a full commercial launch later in the year. China Mobile’s partner for its NFC-based services is China Unionpay.