China permits American Express to operate through a Joint Venture

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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China’s central bank, The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has provided final permission to a network clearing license for an American Express (AMEX) JV which will make the American multinational financial services corporation to be the first foreign credit card company to have regional operations in China.

PBOC said in an official statement that it had passed the license for Express (Hangzhou) Technology Services Co., a joint venture between American Express and LianLian DigiTech Co Ltd. It stated that the move echoed China’s progressive opening up of its financial segment.

The central bank had received American Express’s application in January to start operations in the country. In an official statement, American Express told that it anticipates beginning processing transactions later this year.

Steve Squeri
CEO – American Express

“This approval represents an important step forward in our long-term growth strategy and is a historic moment, not only for American Express but for the continued growth and development of the payments industry in mainland China.”

The PBOC has also green-lit an application by Mastercard’s China joint venture to carry out bank card clearing operations in the country, but the organization is yet to get a network clearing license. While Card giant Visa which tendered its application in early 2018 is still expecting approval.