US claims UnionPay has China monopoly, takes case to WTO

16:38, September 20, 2010      

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U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk recently announced that the United States has already submitted a request for consultation to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding U.S. electronic payment service suppliers being restricted in China.

China UnionPay declined to comment on the action by Ron Kirk. However, Visa said on Sept. 19 that they have no rights to make comments on this matter because it is a negotiation between the two governments.

Kirk said that the People's Bank of China has released a number of restrictive measures since 2001 to allow China UnionPay to monopolize RMB payment card transactions, resulting in discrimination against foreign suppliers and that it is a violation of China's commitment to open up the financial service industry market. A few months ago, a dispute between China UnionPay and Visa over blocking clearing channels began.

Visa is holding a firm stance because they believe that because the bank card clearing channel of China is not open to foreign enterprises, foreign cards can only go through the channel of China UnionPay in China and therefore, there are no profits for Visa, Guo Tianyong, director of the Banking Research Center under the Central University of Finance and Economics, previously said regarding the event.

Guo believes Visa's real intentions are to get Chinese card organizations to share benefits with them while aggressively expanding abroad.

By People's Daily Online


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