China publishes rules for supervising, managing non-bank payment firms

By Qiaoyi Li and Antoni Slodkowski

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s State Council, led by Premier Li Qiang, on Sunday published rules that come into force on May 1 for the supervision and management of non-banking payment institutions.

The rules, among other measures, implement tougher licensing regulations and call for stronger risk management of non-bank payment platforms to prevent misappropriation of funds and other criminal activities, People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, and the Ministry of Justice said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The rules also require institutions to strengthen the protection of user information, clearly mark prices for their services and charge “reasonable” fees. They also raise “the degree of punishment for serious violations”.

The joint statement also said that in cases of violations of the rules the central bank would impose “fines, restrictions on some payment operations, or order them to suspend business for rectification, up to the revocation of their payment business licenses.”

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by William Mallard and Tom Hogue)