Apple is actively working on launching its mobile payments system in China, where it has become the number one seller of smartphones, overtaking local giants such as Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo.

The iPhone maker is in talks with Chinese banks and Alibaba Group Holding to be partners in the scheme, according to CEO Tim Cook.

"We very much want to get Apple Pay in China," Cook told the official Xinhua news agency during an interview. "I'm very bullish on Apple Pay in China."

The company has earlier launched its Apple Pay service in the US, which allows holders of Apple devices to make effortless payments at stores. The payment method has steadily been gaining popularity in the country.

Now, Cook wants to bring the payments system to China, and he believes it could take off even faster in the largest internet market on the planet.

Alibaba's Jack Ma earlier said the online retail giant is willing to work with Apple on Apple Pay.

The planned launch of Apple Pay in China comes as the country is set to become Apple's biggest market. For the first time in the history of the company, Apple sold more iPhones in China than in the US in the first quarter.

Data from market researcher the International Data Corporation showed that Apple has overtaken China's Xiaomi in the first quarter to become the largest vendor of smartphones in the Chinese market for the first time.

Apple gained a 14.7% market share in China in the first quarter, surpassing Xiaomi's 13.7% share. Huawei, Samsung and Lenovo made up the list of the top five smartphone vendors.