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Certain Measures Affecting Electronic Payment Services

Key Facts
Short Title: Electronic Payment Services Measures
Respondent: China
Third Parties: Ecuador; Guatemala; European Union; Japan; Korea; India; Australia;
Complaintant(s): United States;
Dispute Number: DS413
Link to Dispute Site: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds413_e.htm
Dispute Subject(s): Services;
Dispute Status: Pending

On 15 September 2010, the United States requested consultations with China with respect to “certain restrictions and requirements maintained by China pertaining to electronic payment services for payment card transactions and the suppliers of those services”.

 China requires that all transactions denominated and paid in Chinese currency (RMB) in China be processed and cleared in RMB through a Chinese entity (China UnionPay or CUP), and that where there is a choice, all domestic transactions on dual currency cards be routed in RMB through CUP.  China also requires that payment cards issued in China for RMB purchases in China, including dual currency payment cards issued in China, must bear the CUP logo.    This means that issuers – the institutions that issue payment cards to consumers – must have access to the CUP system, and must pay CUP for that access.  China also requires that all automated teller machines (“ATM”), merchant card processing equipment, and point of sale (“POS”) terminals in China accept CUP cards.  There are no equivalent requirements for non-CUP cards.  All acquiring institutions in China – the institutions that sign up merchants to accept payment cards – must post the CUP logo and be capable of accepting all bank cards bearing the CUP logo.   China also prohibits the use of domestically issued non-CUP payment cards where the issuing bank and acquiring bank are different.  China also requires that all inter-bank transactions for all bank cards be handled through CUP.  In addition, China requires that CUP be used to handle all RMB transactions in Macao or Hong Kong using bank cards issued in China, and also requires that CUP be used to handle any RMB transactions in China using RMB cards issued in Hong Kong or Macao. 

 The United States alleges that China appears to be acting inconsistently with its obligations under Articles XVI and XVII of the GATS.

 

Panel Proceedings
Brief DateBrief Description
01/18/2012

U.S. Comments on China’s Answers to the Second Set of Panel Questions

01/11/2012

U.S. Answers to the Second Set of Panel Questions

12/21/2011

Executive Summary of U.S. Opening Oral Statement at the Second Panel Meeting

12/13/2011

U.S. Opening Oral Statement at the Second Panel Meeting

12/02/2011

Executive Summary of U.S. Second Written Submission

11/25/2011

U.S. Second Written Submission

11/11/2011

U.S. Answers to the First Set of Panel Questions

11/04/2011Executive Summary of U.S. Opening Oral Statement at the First Panel Meeting 
10/27/2011U.S. Closing Oral Statement at the First Panel Meeting
10/26/2011U.S. Opening Oral Statement at the First Panel Meeting
09/20/2011Executive Summary of U.S. First Written Submission
09/13/2011U.S. First Written Submission
08/30/2011U.S. Comments on China’s Comments on U.S. Response to China’s Preliminary Ruling Request
07/29/2011U.S. Response to China’s Preliminary Ruling Request