The People's Bank of China has published a report saying that it has issued licenses for non-financial institutions to operate payment businesses to 27 companies, including Alipay.com.
So far, 32 companies have applied for the third-party payment license. According to the Administrative Measures for the Payment Services Provided by Non-financial Institutions launched by the People's Bank of China in 2010, the deadline for getting the third-party payment licenses will be September 1, 2011, and those who are unable to get one by then will be not allowed to run a payment business in the future.
Third-party payment platforms are trading support platforms that sign contracts with major Chinese banks and are operated by independent third-party institutions, like Alipay.com, Tenpay.com, and 99bill.com, which have certain power and credit.
The 27 companies that gained the licenses reportedly include Alipay.com, China UMS, Tenpay.com, 99bill.com, Beijing Digital Wangfujing Technology Limited, and Beijing Lakala Network Technology Company.