Chinese central bank puts tougher antitrust rules for non-bank payment firms

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is putting things in place to boost antitrust measures for companies in the non-bank payments industry. This includes companies such as Ant’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay.

Under the proposed draft rules, the central bank will be allowed to advise the state council’s antitrust committee to stop companies deemed to be abusing their dominant position or even break up a non-bank institution if it “severely hinders the healthy development of the payment service market”.

The move comes at the same time as a wider government clampdown on the financial activities of Chinese tech giants, as concerns grow over the risk of financial contagion as a result of what is being referred to as their “empire building”.

The PBOC will enter into talks with institutions over their market dominance once a single player’s market share reaches a third of the total non-bank payments industry or when the market share of two players combined rises to make up half of the total. Institutions will also be identified as having a monopoly once a single player garners more than half of the market in nationwide electronic payments, which includes online and mobile banking remittances.

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