China Everbright Ltd. (00165.HK) aims to take on China UnionPay in the mainland in some card payments-related businesses, using a three-pronged strategy, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
The state-backed conglomerate is consolidating operations of the “Yi Ka Tong” card (a mainland equivalent of Hong Kong’s Octopus card) system that is used in public transportation, while also seeking to develop third-party payment and credit card payment systems, the report said, citing chief executive Chen Shuang.
China’s Ministry of Transport announced in May that it plans to open up provincial borders in the commuter card payment system, by consolidating the card system through a new joint venture company that it set up in late April with Everbright.
With a 100 million yuan of registered capital, the joint venture company — China iTransport Investment Management Ltd. — is controlled 70 percent by Everbright’s wholly-owned subsidiary CEL-Yixing Everbright Investment Co.
The establishment of the joint venture and the consolidation of the commuter card payment systems is part of a greater plan of the central government to integrate Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, Chen said in an interview.
Everbright is currently testing the travel stored-value card in 13 cities around Wuhan with a view to having an operation like the Octopus card system in Hong Kong.
The group is also seeking to develop third-party payment system with banks and internet companies, including China Everbright Bank Co. (06818.HK), Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings (00700.HK).
Translation by Vey Wong
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