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Ma Yun Blasts Chinese Banks over Move Against Alipay

03-24 15:02 Caijing
Construction Bank of China (CBC) on Saturday joined Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and Bank of China (BoC) in slashing single transaction amount through Alipay.

"It's the hardest time and the most glorious time," said Ma Yun, chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba, shoring support for Alipay, China's answer to PayPal after the country’s four largest state-owned lenders cut limits for each transaction depositors can make through the third-party payment.

Construction Bank of China (CBC) on Saturday joined Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and Bank of China (BoC) in slashing single transaction amount through Alipay.

CBC and ICBC slashed the limit amount for each transaction to CNY 5,000 from earlier CNY 50,000 while ABC and BoC lowered to CNY10, 000.

Moves from the "Big Four" believed to be responses to Alipay's increasing popularity among depositors and online shoppers came as another blow to the third payment firm after the central bank’s decision to halt payments using QR codes.

Alipay users can invest in Yuebao, Alibaba's online market fund which offers higher returns than traditional bank deposits, which are taking deposits away from Chinese lenders.

"The market is not scared of competition. But it does fear injustice," the Alibaba chairman wrote in an article posted on Laiwang, the instant messaging app owned by the group. 

"Let the users decide who wins the game, not monopoly and power."

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is also mulling restrictions on transactions made through third-party payment services but made clear that no rules will be introduced in the short term. 

Former PBoC adviser Li Daokui said that breaking up the monopoly of major banks and speeding up securitization of mortgage loans could be the first steps in financial reform this year.

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