Alipay and Tenpay terminated payment and clearing services for crypto-currencies after the Chinese central bank People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued a ban which forbids payment companies from doing business with Bitcoin exchanges (report in Chinese).

The PBOC met with around ten top Chinese third-party payment providers yesterday, banning banks and third-party payment firms from providing settlement and clearance services for transactions based on virtual currencies, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, as well as other peer-to-peer currency trading sites.

Tencent’s payment service Tenpay confirmed that it has halted cooperation with two major domestic exchange sites BTC China and Okcoin, while a representative from Alipay disclosed that the company has not establish cooperation with any virtual currency sites yet.

Companies which previously accept Bitcoin payment, like Baidu and Guoke, also suspended related businesses.

The PBOC released a notification on December 5, forbidding banks from engaging in financial transactions in Bitcoin, but left private clients to make their own decisions, leaving a space for support of the digital currency.

The trading price of Bitcoin on major domestic exchange sites ranges between 4,000 yuan ($654.14) to 4,200 yuan as of 7:00 AM Dec. 17 Beijing time, slumping from 7,000 yuan one month earlier.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.

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