September 30, 2019 / 3:33 PM / a month ago

PayPal to enter China market through local acquisition

FILE PHOTO: The PayPal logo is seen at an office building in Berlin, Germany, March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

HONG KONG (Reuters) - U.S. digital money transfer platform PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) has obtained Beijing’s approval to buy a controlling stake in a domestic payments firm, which would make PayPal the first foreign firm to enter China’s payment services market.

Gopay Information Technology, PayPal’s acquisition target, has received approval from China’s central bank to sell a 70% stake to PayPal, both companies said on Monday.

Gopay has licenses for mobile, online and cross-border yuan payment services, the Chinese company said in its statement.

PayPal will make the acquisition through a subsidiary in Shanghai. No financial terms were disclosed.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions, PayPal said.

Early last year, China’s central bank announced that it was opening the country’s domestic market to foreign third-party electronic payment firms, a move intended to promote competition in the retail payments industry.

Reporting by Meg Shen; Editing by Toby Chopra

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