Uncertainty surrounds Alipay’s PBOC target, WeChat

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In China, what appears to be a crackdown on Big Tech – the payment giants in particular – continues.

Or maybe not, depending on where you are looking.

And so there is some confusion, at least for now.

To that end, as Crowdfundinsider.com reported, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) banned WeChat and Alipay payment codes for businesses from March 2022.

In a translation of the Chinese accounts contained in China News, Crowfundinsider.com noted that the “notification” would be aligned with “better protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and will help prevent criminals from stealing consumers’ personal information and even to divert funds from the account. by modifying payment acceptance terminals and by applying to fake merchants.

Separately, and as PanDaily reported, with a nod to the granularity and mechanics of the ban – and, again, translated from Chinese – it is the personal static codes that are stripped of use. by companies. The ban, according to reports, extends to payment acceptance terminal companies, special merchants and monitoring of acquisition activities.

To get an idea of ​​the mechanics of personal static collection codes, personal static collection codes would apparently be prohibited from remote transactions (i.e. those that are not done face-to-face at the terminal), between other parameters.

And the PBOC fought back. The Global Times reported that, according to a statement from the bank, mainstream media reports are “misleading.”

The Global Times reported that a spokesperson for the PBOC said the new regulations were aimed at strengthening industry management, closing loopholes, cutting illegal chains and better protecting the safety of traders’ funds. individual.

Want more attempts at clarity, which we think could only cloud a little what is watering a little?

Blockworks reported that the PBOC simply requires businesses to use professional payment codes instead of personal codes, which is “a common pattern for small family businesses.”

“The government has decided to step up surveillance due to the hidden risks of personal payment barcodes,” said Tony Ling, partner of Chinese company Bizantine Capital, according to the report. “For example, some institutions use barcode transfer services for personal receipts to manage [recurring commercial transactions]. This not only confuses the nature of the transaction, but also leads to distortion of transaction information, which affects risk monitoring. “

Phew.

It’s a lot of back and forth.

Still, it is noted that the most recent changes follow a series of actions taken by regulators and the PBOC towards the payments giants. In recent months, the PBOC has sought to pave the way, so to speak, for the smooth issuance of the digital yuan. And little by little it may be that with at least some safeguards in place against the way business – even digital business – has typically been done, the natural inclination may be for consumers, and now businesses, to truly embrace a digital currency central bank (CBDC).

Most of the 1.4 billion people in China use Alipay or WeChat Pay to make mobile payments, and the PBOC has said the digital yuan could serve as a backup for established payment behemoths.

Read more: Chinese bank wants digital yuan to dominate Alipay and WeChat Pay

Whether the breaking news is a storm in a teapot or something more seismic remains to be seen.

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