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China launches cross-border yuan payment services in free trade zone

Published on Feb 19, 2014 3:40 PM

SHANGHAI (AFP) - China has launched yuan-denominated cross-border payment services in its first free trade zone (FTZ), the central bank said, in an effort to facilitate trade and further internationalisation of the Chinese currency.

Five companies - AllinPay, 99Bill, ChinaPay, Orient Electronic Payment and Shengpay - were given the greenlight to process yuan payments for cross-border trade in the FTZ, the Shanghai office of the People's Bank of China said late Tuesday in a statement.

China set up the FTZ in the commercial hub of Shanghai in September last year, aiming to test financial reforms including full convertibility of the yuan and cross-border settlement in the currency.

The five companies will each open a cross-border yuan account with the Shanghai branch of ICBC, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Merchants Bank and China Minsheng Banking to deposit provisions for cross-border yuan payments, it said.

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