The People's Bank of China has issued an emergency alert to stop the use of virtual credit card products as well as two-dimensional code payments that are often used with mobile devices.

Chinese Internet companies like Alipay and Tencent previously launched such services. However, neither company has given any comment on the situation.

The emergency alert published by PBOC stated that offline barcode (two-dimensional code) payments inhibit the business model of traditional terminal companies and their risk control level is directly related to the information security and fund security of users. Virtual credit cards infringe on the business models of existing credit cards and their capability of locating customer identification and safeguarding customer information has yet to be researched.

PBOC requested that businesses related to offline barcode payments and virtual credit cards shall be suspended immediately and effective measures shall be applied to ensure the smooth transition during the business suspension period.

PBOC also asked Alipay and Tencent's Tenpay to submit detailed product descriptions, management systems, and operating processes of related products.