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China's new monopoly rules target fintech giants

Alipay, WeChat Pay and other nonbank payment providers could face probes

Alipay dominated the third-party mobile payment market in 2020 but may have hit a wall due to proposed regulations that could limit its reach.   © Reuters

China's biggest third-party payment providers, Alipay and WeChat Pay, could face antitrust investigations and forced divestiture under proposed rules that tighten oversight of nonbank institutions in the sector.

The government and regulators will gain new powers to fight monopolies and abuse of market power by dominant players if draft rules published on Wednesday by the People's Bank of China governing nonbank payment providers are approved. The draft is open for public feedback until Feb. 19.

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