Taiwan e-book platform rejects China's Alipay request to remove sensitive books

Readmoo halts agreement with Alibaba-backed e-payment processor

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(Readmoo website, screenshot)

(Readmoo website, screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese e-book platform Readmoo has reportedly ended its partnership with China’s largest third-party payment processor Alipay after the Chinese firm demanded the removal of politically sensitive books from the platform.

“Alipay has requested the platform to carry out self-censorship and remove politically sensitive books,” said Readmoo via a statement on August 21. “We will terminate the online payment services provided by Alipay to protect readers’ rights to knowledge and free choice,” per CNA.

With its parent company eCrowd Media founded in 2012 through a successful crowdfunding campaign, Readmoo has billed itself as having the world’s largest selection of traditional Chinese-language e-books. According to the company, the new policy will mostly affect costumers from China and Hong Kong, as some of them have used Ailpay as their preferred payment method.

The platform did not provide any details as to which books are deemed politically sensitive by the Chinese side. Alipay, which is part of the Alibaba-backed Ant Group, has not replied to requests for comments.

CNA cited a source familiar with the fintech industry as saying that Alipay is obliged to abide by laws and regulations in China even when it is providing cross-border services. The Chinese company may have requested not to process payments when customers purchase products that are banned in China.