Stephen Kho Discusses WTO Dispute Involving Chinese Bank Card Services Provider

Akin Gump international trade partner Stephen Kho is quoted in a MarketWatch article on a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute involving the United States and China’s state-backed UnionPay Co. Ltd.  The WTO recently rejected a U.S. claim that UnionPay was monopolizing China’s bank card market.  UnionPay has no competitors that handle inter- and intra-bank card transactions on the Chinese mainland, but Beijing insists the company has “exclusive rights,” rather than full market control.

A WTO panel had spent more than a year looking into the complaint, which was based on long-standing disputes between Visa, the world’s largest bankcard service, and UnionPay.  Kho, a former U.S. Trade Representative lawyer, notes that one obstacle to a settlement between the United States and China has been their differing interpretations of certain language included in China’s General Agreement on Trade in Services commitment to the WTO.