Morning Brief 10.15.20: Trump turns attention to Ant in trade war

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New front

China's Alibaba and Ant Group, which operates the Alipay wallet, largely avoided the Trump Administration's recent attempts to ban Tik Tok and WeChat in the U.S., though that may be about to change.

The U.S. State Department has submitted a proposal to Trump to add Ant to a trade blacklist ahead of Ant's planned IPO, reports Reuters. The move would be designed to keep American investors from participating in the offering.

Ant's IPO is expected to be one of Asia's largest, and could push the company's valuation to $200 billion. Merchants globally use Alipay to offer own-currency payments for travelers from China.

Without a cause

Countries around the world are working on central bank digital currencies to an extent that suggests international consensus, though Australia's central bank is struggling to find a compelling use case.

Tony Richards, head of payments policy for the RBA, said the public policy case still hasn't been made, reports Finextra. While cash is in decline, it's still widely available and accepted, diminishing the need for a digital government version, Richards argues. Also, Australia's New Payments Platform supports real-time transactions at all times, supporting the growth of e-commerce.

In a day

Paytm is speeding settlement for its business clients, hoping to improve liquidity and thus payments to those clients' downstream partners.

The Indian payment company will support same-day settlement for e-commerce, government agencies, and businesses that rely heavily on cash procurements, reports Knowledge News Network, a local wire service.

Paytm is trying to push businesses away from cash, and plans to offer an API in the coming months that will make it easier to onboard the B2B gateway.

Email now, investigate later

The U.K.'s Information Commissioners' Office has launched a query into Klarna, which this week apologized over marketing emails that surprised and angered some consumers.

The ICO reports it has received 90 complaints on the point of sale lending company, reports Distinct Today, a U.K. technology site. User authorization rules for marketing in the U.K. were tightened in 2018.

Klarna says the emails were sent by mistake, adding the consumers were not added to a marketing database.

From the web

Alibaba-affiliated marketplace to leave Taiwan, again
TECHCRUNCH | Thursday, October 15, 2020
Less than a year after Taobao launched on the island through an AlibKaba-backed joint venture, the marketplace announced it will cease operations by the end of this year, the platform said in a notice to customers on Thursday.

Australian regulator to not take action against Afterpay after audit
REUTERS | Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Afterpay Ltd said on Wednesday that Australia’s financial crime watchdog will not take further action against the buy-now-pay-later firm after considering an external auditor report that found it was a low risk for money laundering.

Teespring is offering creators the ability to sell digital merchandise like filters
THE VERGE | Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020
Teespring, one of the biggest platforms for creator and influencer merchandising and an official commerce partner for YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, is rolling out the ability to sell digital merchandise. These include photo filters, e-books, premium content, zines, and other items that creators can sell directly to fans instead of relying on physical merchandise.

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