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Nepal bans WeChat Pay, Alipay

KATHMANDU: Nepal has banned popular Chinese digital payment apps WeChat Pay and AliPay saying payments from the unregistered systems were illegal and resulting in a loss of income to the Himalayan nation, a spokesman for the central bank said on Wednesday.

Laxmi Prapanna Niroula, a spokesman for the Nepal Rastra Bank, said the two digital payment platforms were not registered with the regulator in Nepal but were widely used by Chinese tourists for settling their payments with businesses.

“Any digital transaction made with unregistered foreign payment system like WeChat Pay and AliPay is illegal,” Niroula told Reuters. “Anyone using such platforms can be punished,” he said.

Under Nepali laws, anyone found guilty of embezzling foreign exchange can be sentenced to up to three years in jail.

WeChat Pay, operating on Tencent’s messaging service, and e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Alipay, are the two dominant platforms in mainland China. They are widely used by Chinese tourists for making payments to Chinese-run hotels, restaurants and other businesses in Nepal as the payment giants seek to expand overseas.

Tencent said WeChat Pay’s overseas division “strictly complies” with all regulations in the countries it operated in.

 

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