China, the world's third-largest national economy and the biggest exporter, has not lived up to the letter or spirit of its World Trade Organization commitments. In retail card payment systems it has flouted them. China UnionPay continues to enjoy a protected domestic card payment network monopoly and Chinese banks and CUP continue to provide all yuan card acceptance.
China was supposed to have completed a five-year implementation of its WTO commitments by Dec. 11, 2006. Its entire domestic credit and debit card market should have been open to foreign payment networks such as American Express, Discover, JCB of Japan, MasterCard and Visa, and to payment processors like First Data, Global Payments and U.S. Bancorp's Elavon. It was not. It still is not.