China recently announced some drastic changes being introduced to their private sector. Plans were put into effect earlier this month that resulted in fund transfers being capped, the limiting of daily transactions and more requirements required for users to prove their identities when using their banks. Though implemented to battle the threat of fraud and money-laundering, many feel that the restrictions do not bode well for the Chinese markets.
Limiting online transactions has China’s populace in an uproar. The country’s financial analysts can’t help but scratch their heads at the poorly devised plan to safeguard China’s assets. Especially after China’s premier recently announced a removal of “red tape,” and a call for innovation of the market. The implementation of so many restrictions and rules would seem to be directly opposed to the mission espoused by the premier.
The rise of smartphones brought with it a surge in electronic transactions. Logging more than 400 million annual mobile users in China, the decision to limit this wave of active users seems counterintuitive. Though the limitation on activity would seem like the largest misstep, the real difficulty will come in proving identification when enrolling in online banking. Where you were once able to provide a simple identity-card and prior bank-account information to enroll in online services, China is proposing a multi-tiered identification system that requires tax documentation, educational records, and bank involvement to set up online accounts.
This massive speed-bump in the banking process is sure to result in thousands of irate customers. Beyond limiting the amount of money able to be transferred, these rules would even place restrictions on where citizens are able to make transactions and essentially send money. Currently, no money can be transferred between banks should the owner have accounts in separate branches. It remains unclear how the Chinese government felt these changes would circumvent the currently grim economic state, the changes will not be explicitly formalized until the end of the month. Perhaps the deafening uproar and the nearly unanimous dissent against these drastic changes, will counteract this process, but it remains to be seen how this will be resolved.