PayPal and China UnionPay, China’s bankcard association, today announced that China UnionPay (CUP) card members will be able to use PayPal to shop online, representing a new opportunity for international retailers to sell to a large base of Chinese customers who, combined, hold 2.1 billion CUP cards.

“After years of being the export hub for the world, today marks the day that China is open for business as an import e-commerce market,” said Scott Thompson, president of PayPal. “PayPal’s partnership with China UnionPay removes an important friction point that exists across borders, and we are thrilled to eliminate the payments barrier so merchants can welcome millions of new Chinese customers to their sites.”

Chinese consumers have more disposable income than ever before and are starting to look for the best products the world has to offer. CUP card members will be able to use PayPal in the third quarter of 2010. This gives merchants the opportunity to spend the coming months preparing their Web stores for Chinese consumers, including adding Chinese translation and fast, cost effective shipping methods.