The US government is considering placing restrictions on Tencent Holdings and Ant Group due to national security concerns over their digital payment platforms, Bloomberg reported citing anonymous sources. While the debate over how and whether to restrict the two tech giants’ payment systems has gained momentum in recent weeks, a final decision is reportedly not imminent. Ant Group is the payments and fintech arm of Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group and the company behind Alipay, the world's largest mobile payments provider. Reasons for considering restrictions: American officials are concerned that by dominating global digital payments, China would get access to banking and personal data of hundreds of millions of people, as per the Bloomberg report. This was discussed in a meeting on September 30 in the White House Situation Room. Why no ban yet? Officials are reportedly trying to find a legally sound approach to placing restrictions. The administrations is reportedly debating over which government authority would be used to restrict the companies. As per the Bloomberg report, the idea has not been presented to US President Donald Trump yet as he fell ill with COVID-19 a day after the September 30 meeting. It is also unlikely that these measures could be implemented before the November 3 presidential elections, and officials are reportedly concerned that any restrictions could face significant litigation. Options on the table: According to the Bloomberg report, there are a few options under consideration: Use authorities granted under a 2019 order to protect the digital supply chain. However,…
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