Chinese payments app Alipay is looking to launch in Nepal in the next few weeks, Tech Lekh reported on Monday. The development comes just 10 days after Nepal banned WeChat Pay and Alipay for operating in the country without permission. What prompted the ban? The ban itself came a month after the Himalayan Times reported the widespread use of such apps by Chinese tourists and businesses in Nepal. Because these companies aren’t registered in Nepal, Chinese tourists and businesses that used these apps were effectively bypassing the country’s tax system. Tech Lekh said some hotels and restaurants that focus on Chinese customers were encouraging this practice by putting QR codes on their bills. The illegal use these apps had also enabled Chinese business owners to bypass Nepal’s tax network when repatriating earnings to their home country. A street in Thamel, a tourist area in Kathmandu, has earned the name Chinatown because of the number of Chinese-run hotels and restaurants there, said a report in the South China Morning Post. A spokesperson for Nepal Rashtra Bank told the newspaper that there was no information available on the volume of transactions concerned. WeChat Pay has over 900 million active users and Alipay more than 700 million. Alipay meets officials, ropes in Himalayan Bank Despite the ban, the government had said it would be willing to work with Chinese payment services if they applied for permission to operate in Nepal, and earlier this week, Alipay’s representatives met officials of Nepal Rastra Bank to discuss…
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