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China's banking regulator on June 28 gave the first batch of third-party payment licenses to companies providing payment services through digital TV platforms.
The move is expected to further expand China's self-service payment sector.
Four companies - including one backed by China UnionPay Co Ltd, the nation's only homegrown credit card network - were granted the licenses, the People's Bank of China said on its website.
The central bank also awarded 91 licenses to online payment companies on June 28, increasing the total number of eligible companies to 196. It was the fourth time that the PBOC granted such licenses since mid-2011.
This could be the last time that the central bank provides so many licenses at once, reported local newspaper Beijing Times.
"The PBOC is not likely to grant this many licenses at a time," the newspaper quoted Guan Guoguang, CEO of online payment platform 99Bill.com, as saying.