China’s state-backed bank card association China UnionPay announced (in Chinese) on Monday that it will start using QR codes to process payments. This seems to be the latest signal that government is relaxing control on the technology, long in use by other sectors. In addition, it is expected that this will create a more competitive environment in China’s mobile payment sector. Alipay and WeChat Wallet have been the main players dominating the sector.

Actually, it was only in the last few months that QR codes were legally approved for financial transactions. Since March 2014, all QR code transactions were supposed to be suspended after China’s central bank announced security concerns.

However, the ban has not hindered the rapid application of QR code payment over the last two years. Domestic internet companies led by Alibaba and Tencent have continually pushed the use of this technology.

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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.