Businesses and consumers in China process more than $1 trillion (U.S. equivalent) in electronic payments every year. The United States claimed that the Chinese government used several regulatory requirements that had the effect of only allowing one company, the government-owned China Union Pay, to process all electronic payment services (EPS) in the country denominated in Chinese currency, the renminbi or yuan. The world’s leaders in EPS, however, are U.S. firms, and they were virtually locked out of the China market. The United States brought a complaint before a WTO panel claiming that the Chinese government violated its obligations under Article XVI of GATS by granting one company a monopoly on clearing credit card transactions denominated in Chinese currency. Did China violate GATS Article XVI:2 (a) that prohibits a country from limiting the number of service suppliers in service sectors where it has made commitments? Did this violate the principle of nondiscrimination? How was the dispute resolved? China—Certain Measures Affecting Electronic Payment Services, Report of the Panel, WT/DS413/R (2012).

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