China push for foreign card companies to create joint ventures

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According to various sources, China is urging foreign payment card companies to create local joint ventures for onshore operations. This move would counter a pledge on market access which Beijing made to US President, Donald Trump.

The drive for encouraging equity tie-ups with Chinese companies, rather than running fully-owned units, comes ahead of Trump’s visit to China this week. However, this could further delay access to China’s booming market for foreign card companies such as Visa and MasterCard.

Following this, the Trump administration has been critical of what it views as China’s mercantilist policies. Back in September, the US. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, condemned China for forcing businesses into joint ventures.

Notably, foreign card companies have been lobbying for more than a decade in order to obtain direct access to China. Moreover, according to GlobalData research company, China is due to become the world’s number one bank card market by 2020.