Controls planned for online payments
China plans to tighten regulatory controls on the country’s nearly 300 online payment firms, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s finance affiliate.
Under the draft rule, published by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) it plans to limit the amount an individual can pay online to 5,000 yuan ($800) per day through third-party payment accounts, unless the customer’s identity can be verified by a security token and electronic signature. The central bank issued a follow-up statement, saying that customers with at least five methods of verifications can open a so-called “comprehensive account”, which limits annual online or mobile payments to 200,000 yuan per person.
The draft rule triggered concerns among the general public. Many Internet shoppers expressed frustration, saying that 5,000 yuan is not enough to buy an iPhone online. Industry observers said the draft rule aims to curb online payment companies from providing services that are otherwise provided by financial institutions.