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China Weighs Tencent Payments Overhaul, New License Requirement

  • WeChat Pay may need to secure a separate payments license
  • Beijing signals crackdown on Big Tech will eventually ease
The Tencent Holdings Ltd. headquarters in Shenzhen.

The Tencent Holdings Ltd. headquarters in Shenzhen.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Chinese authorities are considering requiring Tencent Holdings Ltd. to include WeChat Pay in a newly created financial holding company, part of an overhaul that may necessitate a new license for the ubiquitous mobile payments service, according to people familiar with the matter.

The potential move would present a fresh hurdle for Tencent, which along with other internet firms was told in 2021 to cordon off financial services from its main business. Similar to requirements imposed on Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co., Tencent needs to fold its banking, securities, insurance and credit-scoring services into a financial holding company that can be regulated like a traditional bank, the people said.