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Nepal imposes ban on WeChat Pay, Alipay

Nepal's central bank banned the use of Chinese digital payment services WeChat Pay and Alipay in the country, The Nikkei reported May 21.

Nepal Rastra Bank Director Laxmi Prapanna Niroula said the payment service providers have failed to secure licenses to operate in Nepal. The payment apps are widely used by Chinese tourists visiting Nepal.

The Himalayan Times quoted Niroula as saying that using WeChat Pay and Alipay are illegal as unregistered foreign-owned businesses tend to use the apps to bypass Nepal's banking channel, and that purchases done through them are registered in China.

An Alipay spokesperson told The Nikkei that the company is operating normally in Nepal. She said they have found "wrongfully collected payments outside of China" and have strengthened oversight to prevent these from happening. WeChat Pay did not reply to The Nikkei's request for comments.

WeChat Pay is operated by Tencent Holdings Ltd., while Alipay is operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Ant Financial Services Group.