PBOC Reiterates Commitment to Anti-trust Enforcement in Chinese Payments Sector, Development of Cross-border Payments

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The Chinese central bank has stressed its commitment to enforcing anti-trust measures in China’s payment sector, as well as efforts to improve cross-border payments channels.

On 14 April the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) convened its 2021 payments and settlement work teleconference, to review work in 2020 as well as outline work arrangements and tasks for the remainder of 2021.

In 2021 PBOC said it will “deeply drive anti-trust work in the payments sector, accelerate the release of the ‘Non-Bank Payments Organization Regulations,’ and accelerate the establishment of a cross-border payments system.”

PBOC also committed to “firmly striking against cross-border gambling, electronic and internet fraud and illegal payments activities.”

The central bank will focus on “improvements to account opening services for micro and small-enterprises, appropriately reducing payments processing fees for micro and small-enterprises, and raising the security and services level of the payments and settlements system.”

Chinese financial authorities have recently stepped up efforts to combat monopolies in the e-commerce and fintech sectors, with Jack Ma’s Alibaba hit with a multi-billion dollar fine in April for violation of anti-trust requirements.

On 20 January PBOC released the the draft version of the “Non-Bank Payments Organisation Regulations” (非银行支付机构条例(征求意见稿)) for the solicitation of opinions from the public.

Under the draft Regulations PBOC will be able to “recommend to the State Council’s anti-trust enforcement bodies measures including the dismantling of non-bank payments organisations to stop conduct that abuses market allocation status.”

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