Taipei, Thursday, May 25, 2017 17:07 (GMT+8)
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Taiwan market: Paypal enhances service by disabling domestic payment processing
Ricky Morris, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Friday 21 April 2017]

Digital payments platform Paypal has been forced to stop processing domestic payments between accounts registered in Taiwan in order to comply with local laws and regulations. But in a case of taking corporate doublespeak to absurdity the company has attempted to pass off the loss a service as an enhancement.

In a recent email sent to affected accounts the company wrote, "We're streamlining our services in Taiwan and our system will be enhanced to ensure that domestic commercial payments will not be processed, in compliance with local laws and regulations."

The email goes on to make it clear via an FAQ that this "enhanced" service is only being applied locally, and users in Taiwan will still be able to send and receive payments internationally. There is no mention on how long users in other markets will be forced to continue to use the presumably inferior, unenhanced Paypal service.

Paypal is the latest in a series of international companies to feel pressure from Taiwan regulators. Notably, Uber was forced to suspend services in Taiwan in February after battling with the government, but was able to reopen in April after negotiations.

Meanwhile, digital software platform Steam, which is operated by Valve, recently announced it will be raising prices in a few markets including Taiwan in order to collect local value added tax. This announcement came as a surprise to some users since local pricing on Steam is already at parity with pricing in other markets, and the Steam store page already claims "All prices include VAT where applicable." In this instance "where applicable" appears to be corporate speak for "where we can't get away with it."

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