JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) has won approval to underwrite corporate debt in the biggest sector of China's $6.4 trillion bond market, a first for the U.S. banking industry.

The license obtained by the New York-based bank from the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors, a self-regulatory agency overseen by the People's Bank of China, allows it to underwrite debt instruments including commercial paper and medium-term notes from non-financial companies, according to a statement Monday.

"China is a critical market for JPMorgan, both regionally and globally, and the firm believes in its long-term future success," David Li, chairman of JPMorgan China, said in the statement. "As its capital markets continue to develop with increasing international participation and transparency, the license will further enhance our ability to serve our clients."

The largest U.S. lender, JPMorgan has been doing business in China since 1921. Its expansion into the so-called interbank bond market, which is restricted to institutional investors and accounts for 90% of the country's total bond market, takes advantage of the Chinese central bank's decision last year to loosen entry restrictions.

Bond financing accounted for only 12% of China's corporate debt at the end of 2015, compared with well over 20% in emerging markets such as Mexico and Korea, according to a report from Deutsche Bank.

JPMorgan's revenue from debt-underwriting was little changed last year, at $3.16 billion, accounting for about half of its investment banking fees. The company's shares slipped 0.2% to $87.03 in New York on Monday, paring their gain so far this month to 2.8%.