China's antitrust agency is pondering an investigation into Alipay and WeChat Pay after the country's central bank raised concerns about the mobile payment behemoths, according to Reuters.
The State Council’s antitrust committee has been collecting information on Ant's Alipay and Tencent's WeChat Pay for a month, says Reuters, citing sources, although a decision on whether to open an investigation has yet to be made. The People's Bank of China recommended that the committee look into non-bank payment companies earlier this year amidst concerns that Alipay and WeChat Pay use their huge muscle in the market to kill off competition. Alipay has more than 900 million users in China, while WeChat Pay has over 800 million. Recently, the central bank outlined plans to standardize the interoperability of QR code payments to boost competition. Tencent has already gone some way towards this, agreeing to integrate its system with China UnionPay, giving the state-owned payments outfit a stronger foothold in the mobile money market.