ShopeePay Taiwan Co’s (蝦皮支付) proposed e-payment service would “come under further scrutiny” over possible Chinese capital, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday.
The Investment Commission would re-evaluate ShopeePay’s status as a non-Chinese foreign company when its parent company, Singapore-based SeaMoney (Payment) TW Private Ltd, injects further capital, Wang told a meeting of the legislature’s Economics Committee in Taipei.
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) on Tuesday approved ShopeePay’s application to operate an electronic payment service in Taiwan.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
ShopeePay must apply for an operating license within six months.
However, ShopeePay has capitalization of NT$5 million (US$173,503), NT$495 million shy of the requirements to become an e-payment service in Taiwan, which means more capital is to be injected.
Although ShopeePay is deemed a non-Chinese foreign company, Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊) is a major shareholder of SeaMoney’s parent company, Sea Ltd.
Tougher rules over Chinese capital announced by the Investment Commission in August would apply in the ShopeePay case, Wang said.
Amendments to the Measures Governing Investment Permits to the People of the Mainland Area (大陸地區人民來台投資許可辦法) are to take effect this year or early next year, Investment Commission spokesman Su Chi-yen (蘇琪彥) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
“It is easy for ShopeePay to be deemed a non-Chinese foreign-owned company with capital of just NT$5 million, but it has to show the provenance of the other NT$495 million,” Su said.
He said that the “sensitive nature” of e-payments would draw further scrutiny over possible Chinese capital.
“It would basically be a financial firm at that point,” he said. “Chinese-held companies are not permitted to operate in that category.”
The Investment Commission considers any company that is more than 30 percent controlled by Chinese capital to be a Chinese company, Su said.
ShopeePay operates as a third-party payment service provider, servicing its e-commerce affiliate, Shopee Taiwan Co (樂購蝦皮).
However, as ShopeePay’s transactions exceed NT$1 billion per day, it must apply to be listed as an e-payment company, which are subject to tighter regulations, the FSC said on Tuesday.
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