An employee scans a quick response (QR) code displayed on the Ant Financial Services Group's Alipay app, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., inside a Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd. store in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The urgency to prepare regulatory environments for fintech is growing as banks begin offering digital services such as biometric authentication and as mobile-payment systems such as Apple Pay and AliPay are introduced around the region. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

Alan Beattie’s article “Eyes on the prize” (The Big Read, July 25) is an important contribution to the discussion about the hugely significant international plays for ascendancy in new technologies and the need for global standards and regulation. However, the reference to Beijing encouraging a “shift to e-payments by in effect blocking foreign credit card companies” is misleading.

The early days of blocking foreign credit cards gave the Beijing’s Union Pay system a crucial chunk of time to build market share, but that would be small-scale in the scheme of e-payments take up by consumers faced with a first-time choice between a cumbersome credit card system, local or foreign, and nifty Alipay or WePay alternatives. In this case, there was no competition, but not because of state planning or manipulation. The consumer decided.

Michael Wadley
Wadley Business Consulting,
Shanghai, China

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