WTO rejects US claim against China payment card

Updated: 2012-07-17 09:33


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GENEVA -- A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel on Monday circulated a report on China's measures affecting electronic payment service, a dispute raised by the United States.

Due to insufficient evidence, the panel rejected the US' claim that China maintains China UnionPay as an across-the-board monopoly supplier for the processing of all domestic RMB payment card transactions.

However, it concluded that China acted inconsistently with its market access commitment in maintaining the company as a monopoly supplier for the clearing of certain types of RMB-denominated payment card transactions.

It also found that certain requirements of China, including that all payment cards issued in China must work with the China UnionPay network and to bear its logo; and all terminal equipment in China must be capable of accepting cards with the logo, are inconsistent with its national treatment obligations.

China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that the panel rejected some claims of the US and China welcomes these findings.

However, China has reservations on the panel's finding that the electronic payment service at issue should be classified as "all payment and money transmission services" under China's schedule, it said.

It said that China will carefully study the panel report and continue to work in accordance with the WTO dispute settlement rules.

The US requested consultations with China on Sept 15, 2010, claiming that China acted inconsistently with its obligations by permitting only China UnionPay to supply electronic payment services for payment card transactions denominated and paid in RMB in China.

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy composed the panel on July 4, 2011 to examine the dispute.