Tencent Says Libra Could Deal Crushing Blow to Chinese Payments Giants

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Chinese internet titan Tencent has expressed concern about the potential for Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency to destroy the dominance of China’s incumbent payments giants in a whitepaper published earlier this week.

The “2019 Tencent Blockchain White Paper” (2019腾讯区块链白皮书) released earlier this week expresses concern that the launch of Libra could all but destroy the dominance enjoyed by Alipay and Tencent’s own WeChat Pay.

“If Libra is successfully implemented, it will undoubtedly have a huge impact upon the global payments sector, and even the entire financial system, driving a revolution in areas including fees and costs, technology and commercial models,” said the whitepaper.

“Internet companies that possess complete payments ecosystems, such as Tencent and Alipay, will also receive a crushing blow, impacting their global strategic arrangements.”

The whitepaper further points out that Libra could rapidly amass market share in unstable economies lacking credible statutory currencies of their own, as well as in places where financial infrastructure is lacking, undermining the ability of Chinese companies to compete in these regions.

The “China Third Party Pay­ments Sec­tor Data Re­lease Re­port (中国第三方支付行业数据发布报告) for the first half of 2019 re­leased by iRe­search Con­sult­ing Group in­di­cates Ali­pay and WeChat Pay con­tinue to enjoy dominance on the Chinese payments market, with shares of 54.2% and 39.5% re­spec­tively. 

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