Con­trols planned for online pay­ments

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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