6 Jan 2011 12:17

Shanda set to launch online payment service

Shanghai. January 6. INTERFAX-CHINA - Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (Shanda), a leading Chinese online game developer and operator, is expected to launch an online payment service called Shengfutong this week, state media reported Jan. 5.

Users will be able to add funds to their Shengfutong account via the Internet, mobile phone or Shanda's pre-paid game cards, according to the National Business Daily.

Shanghai Shengfutong E-commerce Co., Ltd., a wholly-owed Shanda subsidiary with a registered capital of RMB 250 million ($37.73 million), will operate the service.

The People's Bank of China (PBoC), China's central bank, began requiring non-financial companies with payment service-related ventures to apply for relevant licenses in June last year. Payment service providers operating nationwide must also have at least RMB 100 million ($14.69 million) in registered capital.

Shanghai Shengfutong E-commerce was one of 17 non-financial online payment companies short listed as eligible for such a license, according to a PBoC announcement in December of last year.

Other firms short listed included Alibaba's online payment subsidiary Alipay.com Co. Ltd., Tencent Inc.'s Tenpay and China Unionpay's ChinaPay E-payment Service Co. Ltd.

Non-financial payment service providers notched up RMB 757.7 billion ($114.4 billion) in online and mobile transactions during the first three quarters of 2010, according Internet consultancy Analysys International. Alipay was the market leader with a 48.4 percent share, followed by Tenpay with 23.5 percent.