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China c.bank orders halt to online payments using QR codes

HONG KONG/BEIJING, March 14 (Reuters) - China's central bank has ordered online payment units of dotcom giants Alibaba and Tencent to stop processing online payments using QR codes, the two companies said on Friday.

Alipay is the online payment unit of Alibaba Small and Micro Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Ltd .

The online payment unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd is called Caifutong.

Alipay and Caifutong confirmed to Reuters that they had received such notice from the central bank. The central bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment. CITIC did not immediately answer calls seeking comment.

CITIC Bank announced in an exchange filing on Thursday that the bank planned to partner with Alibaba and Tencent to issue virtual credit cards-based QR code payments.