An executive for eBay’s (EBAY) PayPal said Thursday that the payments unit of the online auction pioneer is still waiting for an official license to offer online payment services in China’s domestic market.
Alan Tien, PayPal’s general manager for China, was quoted by state-run China Daily as saying the company had filed an application with China’s central bank last year and still hasn’t heard back.
If the approval is given, PayPal’s local operation will compete directly against Alipay.com, the payment arm of Chinese Internet tycoon Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group. Alipay is China’s dominant online payments service.
PayPal’s Chinese unit currently makes most of its money by offering payment services for local companies that export overseas by filling orders through online websites.
Tien told China Daily that PayPal’s total payment volume in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan reached $4.4 billion in 2010. He says the local unit is enjoying double-digit growth rates, which he expects to continue.