Mastercard, the payments company, said late last week that it is still committed to operating in China.
In a press release, Mastercard said that it is making every effort to secure the license to access the domestic Chinese market and confirmed it is in active talks with different solutions. Mastercard said it plans to present another application for a bank card clearing license shortly. “Forming trusted partnerships remains a cornerstone of our operating philosophy around the world, and our approach in China is no different,” said Ling Hai, co-president of Asia Pacific at Mastercard, in the press release. “China remains a vital market for us and we look forward to working with the Chinese government and local partners in growing and developing the overall payments ecosystem in the long-term. We believe our participation here will be beneficial to the country and its people. We are committed to improving the safety, security, and convenience of payments in day-to-day life, which is a key priority for China.”
Earlier this month The Financial Times reported that despite Mastercard and Visa submitting their applications to the People’s Bank of China more than a year ago, the license applications haven’t been acknowledged by the People’s Bank of China. While China put in place rules in 2017 to make it easier for foreign companies to participate in the $124 trillion Chinese market, there have been complaints that China has created informal barriers to prevent foreign competition in the marketplace. Those complaining point to the problems Visa and Mastercard have faced with the applications. The People’s Bank of China’s approval process for applications means they have to decide ninety days after acknowledging the applications. There are concerns that the delays could deepen tensions between the U.S. and China, which are locked in a trade war. There is a March 2 deadline to reach an agreement before more tariffs kick in.