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News from China
16 institutions, merchants punished for cash refusal
22nd January 2021

 The People’s Bank of China announced today that it punished 16 merchants and institutions for refusing to take payments in cash during the fourth quarter of 2020.

 
The central bank punished 16 violators, including parks, public service institutions, parking lots and insurance companies, as part of a clampdown on the practice of refusing cash payments launched in October.
 
The violators were issued with fines ranging from 500 yuan (US$77.28) to 500,000 yuan, for posting “no cash” signs or simply refusing to take cash as payments, the PBOC said.
 
The central bank launched its campaign last year in order to protect consumers’ legal rights, as a growing number of businesses have gone cashless amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers who try to pay in cash but are prevented from doing so can lodge a complaint with authorities, as such practices are illegal.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 22, 2021
Tougher rules for non-bank payment firms
21st January 2021

 China’s central bank proposed stepping up anti-trust measures to rein in payment firms such as Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, which dominate the non-bank payment industry.

 
Under draft rules proposed on Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China can advise the state council’s antitrust committee to stop companies abusing their dominant position or even break up a non-bank institution, if it “severely hinders the healthy development of the payment service market.”
 
So far China has 233 licensed players, with the market dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay in terms of online transactions, according to a report by consultancy firm iResearch.
 
The PBOC will hold talks with institutions over their market dominance once a single player’s market share reached a third of the total non-bank payment industry, or when the market share of two players combined reached half of the total. It will also identify institutions as having a monopoly once a single player holds more than half of the market share in the nationwide electronic payment market, which also includes online and mobile banking payments.
 
Non-bank payment service providers must also comply with PBOC’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism requirements and if these are severely breached, the central bank can revoke the player’s license under the new rules.
 
“The rules will set up a framework for future collaboration between financial regulators and law enforcement bodies,” said Liu Xu from the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 21, 2021
Tougher rules for non-bank payment firms
21st January 2021

 China’s central bank proposed stepping up anti-trust measures to rein in payment firms such as Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, which dominate the non-bank payment industry.

 
Under draft rules proposed on Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China can advise the state council’s antitrust committee to stop companies abusing their dominant position or even break up a non-bank institution, if it “severely hinders the healthy development of the payment service market.”
 
So far China has 233 licensed players, with the market dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay in terms of online transactions, according to a report by consultancy firm iResearch.
 
The PBOC will hold talks with institutions over their market dominance once a single player’s market share reached a third of the total non-bank payment industry, or when the market share of two players combined reached half of the total. It will also identify institutions as having a monopoly once a single player holds more than half of the market share in the nationwide electronic payment market, which also includes online and mobile banking payments.
 
Non-bank payment service providers must also comply with PBOC’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism requirements and if these are severely breached, the central bank can revoke the player’s license under the new rules.
 
“The rules will set up a framework for future collaboration between financial regulators and law enforcement bodies,” said Liu Xu from the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 21, 2021
China's FDI inflow up 6.2% to record high in 2020
20th January 2021

 Foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 6.2 percent year on year to a record high of 999.98 billion yuan in 2020, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.

 
In US dollar terms, the inflow went up 4.5 percent year on year to US$144.37 billion.
 
The country managed to emerge from COVID-19 and meet its target of stabilizing foreign investment in 2020, bucking the downward trend in global foreign investment, the ministry said.
 
In 2020, China's foreign investment touched a record high, with its growth pace quickened and global share increased.
 
The structure of the country's foreign investment was further optimized. Foreign investment in the service industry came in at 776.8 billion yuan in 2020, up 13.9 percent year on year, while that in the high-tech service sector rose 28.5 percent.
 
Investment from the Netherlands surged 47.6 percent year on year, while that from Britain rose 30.7 percent, according to the ministry.
Source: Shanghai Daily, January 20,2021

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