China welcomes WTO ruling on China-US e-payment dispute

Updated: 2012-08-31 23:26


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BEIJING -- The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Friday welcomed a ruling by a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel rejecting part of the accusations made by the United States against China's handling of electronic payments.

The dispute panel passed a report Friday that dismissed US accusations that China UnionPay is the only service provider in the market, ruling that China has not barred foreign service providers from entering the Chinese market.

The report also rejected the US view that foreign service providers can provide cross-border supplies of electronic payment services into China. The panel judged that foreign service providers must meet the requirements under China's Schedule of Specific Commitments on Services.

The Chinese government has always kept its promise of supporting orderly competition and the sound development of the e-payment market, the MOC said in a statement.

In fact, China's e-payment market is already an open one, and cooperation and competition between domestic and foreign institutions is in line with the market trend, it said.

China will keep promoting the reform and opening-up of its e-payment market, as well as international cooperation, it added.

Meanwhile, China is reserving opinion on a WTO ruling that e-payment services belong to the "all payment and money transmission services" area that China pledged to open up when joining the WTO, the MOC said, adding that the issue should be further clarified in future cases.

On September 15, 2010, the US filed a consultation request with the WTO's dispute settlement body, saying that Chinese measures related to electronic payment services violated its commitment to the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

The US alleged that China permits only China UnionPay to supply electronic payment services for payment card transactions denominated and paid in yuan in China.

China UnionPay is a bankcard association established in March 2002. At present, the Shanghai-headquartered UnionPay has about 400 domestic and overseas associate members.