Oriental Morning Post, 1/14/11
According to an industry source, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) recently held a meeting to discuss the issuing of third-party payment licenses, with first preference to be given to state-owned payment companies. The source added that the first licenses would be announced before the Chinese New Year (first week of February), and possibly as early as today.
The PBoC had previously released a list of seventeen companies for public comment, however, the source revealed that the list simply indicated the companies had submitted complete applications, while the final decision would be made at the head office. A source from one of the companies revealed "the number of licenses is limited", and not all seventeen companies would be able to obtain one. There are reportedly ten operating licenses to be issued, and enterprises with state funding are expected to have an advantage.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Rumor: 17 Companies Considered for Third-Party Payment Licenses" MD 12/30/10 issue.