BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's central bank said Tuesday that it has approved an application by Mastercard's Chinese joint venture to conduct bank card clearing business in the country.
The joint venture, with a registered capital of 1 billion yuan (about 142.86 million U.S. dollars), was 51-percent owned by Mastercard, with the remaining stake held by Chinese company NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, according to the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.
The decision, jointly made by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, represents a concrete step that China has taken to further open up its financial industry, the central bank said on its website.
As part of the country's efforts to further open up its financial sector, the opening of the bank card market will help promote the internationalization of the country's payment and settlement services, and facilitate all industry players, the PBOC said.
The PBOC said it will continue to push forward the opening of the country's bank card market while improving the regulatory system to maintain financial stability.