China Merchants​ Bank halts oversea fund transfer on Dec 2nd. Announcement got removed


An announcement made by China Merchants Bank went viral on Weibo (Chinese twitter) on Friday about a temporary halt of the oversea fund transfer service starting Dec 2nd due to “system upgrades”. All oversea fund transfer will be stopped on Dec 30th and all pending transactions will be canceled. Fund transfer service will resume on a future date to be announced.

After a Chinese Youtuber called “Lude” tweeted this announcement, it got removed from the bank’s official Website. But, the same page was cached on Baidu, a Chinese search engine.

Screen shot of the original announcement of halting oversea fund transfer

Cached page found on Baidu
Cached page found on Baidu

This type of tightening measure is inevitable. China has been finding excuses to stop bank customers from withdrawing dollars. it has been trying to mask its dwindling foreign currency reserve to delay panic withdrawals and other dire consequences.

The Hong Kong Bill could trigger the end of the Hong Kong dollar’s pegging to the U.S. dollar and subsequently drain a significant source of foreign currencies into China.

The Chinese government has also been investing heavily overseas especially for the one-belt-one-road initiatives. And this has definitely made the matter worse.

This might mark the beginning of a much tighter control for oversea fund transfer.