According to reports, Ripple is very confident about hitting China’s market this year with its blockchain-based payments solution.
Ripple’s head of government and regulatory relations for Asia, Sagar Sarbhai explained:
“It was still initial days when the team started discussions on how to enter the Chinese industry with regulators, payment providers, and banks by the end of this year.”
According to reports from the Express, the company will initially launch its xCurrent software in China. This will allow them to quickly settle cross-border payments.
Sarbhai added to his statement:
“This year will have more announcements relating to China, in terms of educating and differentiating us from some of the other currencies out there. Ripple’s CEO, Brad had told last year that a launch into China was in the pipeline. However, this was delayed due to unclear regulations around the blockchain and digital currencies in China.”
The World Payments report from 2015 says non-cash payments in Japan, China, and South Korea topped $45 billion in 2013. As a result of upward trends in the same, Ripple extended its services into Japan through SBI in 2016 with live clients in India and Thailand. They are constantly working on the extensions towards other Asia Pacific countries.
Sarbhai also says:
“In Asia Pacific we already have live clients in Japan, India, Thailand… We’re in active discussions with almost all the countries in Asia Pacific and are finding one bank almost every week.”
Despite the fact that Ripple is yet to reach mainland China, the company recently tied up with a Hong Kong-based money transfer company called Lian Lian. This will enable the company to process invoices and e-commerce payments on behalf of customers who use Ripple’s payments network. As a result, the company gains access to inbound payments market in China.
Sarbhai is clear, however, when he states that China remains an important part of their Asia Pacific strategy, one issue that needs to be looked at is Chinese capital controls. In recent years, the country has limited the number of capital institutions that can send back to their own country or transfer cross-border from China.
According to Sarbhai, this isn’t something that has come up during discussions with China’s regulatory bodies.
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