China Opens up US$27 Trillion Payments Market to Foreign firms

China will allow foreign firms to enter its US$27 trillion payments market, People’s Bank of China said in a recent statement.

Foreign businesses can start applying for payment licenses and will be treated the same as local ones, PBOC noted.

China requires applicants to set up local units, build payment infrastructure which includes disaster recovery systems, and store client information domestically.

Payment firms processed RMB 169 trillion (US$27 trillion) of transactions in 2017, a nine-fold increase from 2013, according to central bank’s numbers.

Premier Li Keqiang promised earlier this week that China will protect the intellectual property of foreigners investing in the country, an effort of China to avoid a trade war with the US.

At the moment there are more than 260 players that have payment licenses in China, including Alipay’s Ant Financial and Tencent’s WeChat Pay.

PayPal has already teamed up with Baidu (BIDU), giving Chinese consumers access to merchants worldwide, in addition to its partnership with Alibaba to allow PayPal users outside China to shop with the e-commerce giant.