London, July 17 (ANI): The World Trade Organisation has found China discriminating against foreign credit card and debit-card providers.
A panel of the trade body said China maintains a monopoly on yuan-denominated payment cards, which breaks WTO rules, and only one company, China UnionPay, is allowed to process domestic currency transactions, which limits foreign providers such as Visa and Mastercard.
According to the BBC, there is a 60-day period in which either side can appeal against the ruling.
US companies have been trying to get greater access to the massive China market as currently, they can only issue cards in partnership with Chinese banks and China UnionPay.
In a statement, Visa said that the company is "hopeful that this ruling will pave the way for international payment companies to participate in the domestic payments marketplace in China".
The decision by the WTO is being hailed as a "win" by the US government as the trade gap with China has become a campaign issue in the upcoming elections.
"Today's win highlights that tackling unfair Chinese trade practices has been a priority of this president," said Jay Carney, White House press secretary. (ANI)