(Yicai Global) Sept. 28 -- Trip.Com is about to secure a coveted license to handle third-party mobile payments after China’s central bank gave the go-ahead for the country’s biggest online travel agent to acquire the permit holder.
Trip.Com will buy Dongfang Huirong Information Technology Service, the Shanghai-based tourism company said in a statement yesterday, without disclosing the price. The purchase will help Trip.Com boost payment convenience in the tourism and cultural sector to boost recovery amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, it said.
Based on recent similar deals, the acquisition could cost Trip.Com between CNY300 million and CNY500 million (USD44 million and USD73.4 million) and even as much CNY600 million, when a mobile payments license is involved.
The People's Bank of China has not issued any new licenses since March 2015. That pushed fast-growing internet giants Pinduoduo and ByteDance Technology to buy companies this year that have such licenses.
Founded in 2011, state-backed Dongfang Huirong obtained its permit for online payments and prepaid card issuance in June 2012 and the current license will last till June 2022. The Shanghai-based firm has CNY100 million in registered capital.
Editor: Emmi Laine