The Chinese central bank, People’s Bank of China, has just announced details for third party payment licences. (Here is an article about it in Chinese http://finance.people.com.cn/GB/13392479.html )
This is expected to be the last step before the government finally issue third party payment licences to companies such as Alipay, Yeepay, 99bills, etc., although they have been in the business of providing third party online payment for a considerable time. The first one to get the license is probably Chinapay, a subsidiary of the government owned China UnionPay.
Payment used to be a bottleneck for the development of e-commerce. After Alipay solved the issue of online payment, e-commerce took off in China. Currently, payment is the bottleneck of another industry, the mobile internet. Many mobile internet players (d.cn, Easou, etc.) thought payment is a problem that limit their growth.
China Mobile, the leading mobile operator, used to be the one that collect fee for the mobile internet companies. But, the commission is too high – it charges about 15% commission and another 10% for bad debt. Moreover, it change its policies often and each time the mobile internet companies suffer.
There is going to be a conference on mobile internet in Beijing. For people interested in the topic, they can go to the “Mobile Payment Leaders Forum” during Dec 16-17. Here is the details http://www.mobile-net.org/mp/2010/