Signalling the increasing importance of the Chinese electronic payments market, PayPal has appointed Chris Yao vice-president of Greater China, a position that was previously part of Jeff Liao's role as president of Greater China, Southeast Asia and Japan for eBay.
"I am very impressed by the rapid growth of e-commerce in Greater China and we see the momentum will continue to grow," said Farhad Irani, Singapore-based vice-president of Asia-Pacific for PayPal, in a statement. Yao reports to Irani.
Shanghai-based Yao will oversee all of the payment provider's business operations in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. His duties includes growing PayPal's operation in these countries, absorbing the firm's recently announced region wide 1,000-person headcount increase, and creating and implementing new online partnerships. The firm recently announced agreements with the China UnionPay bankcard association and trade promoter Taiwantrade to expand electronic payment options for users of both these services.
"I am delighted to join the PayPal team at this exciting moment," said Yao in a statement. "As e-commerce continues to grow at an astounding pace in the region, PayPal is at the forefront -- helping businesses as well as consumers enjoy e-commerce in a safer and easier manner."
Liao continues to work as eBay's president for Greater China, Southeast Asia and Japan.
Silicon Valley-based PayPal currently has Greater China offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei. The firm would not disclose its current headcount in these locations.
PayPal is not alone in betting on online payment growth in China. Two weeks ago, Alibaba Group announced a Rmb5 billion ($732 million) investment in Alipay, its e-payment engine in the country, to fund growth. Financial services consultancy Celent recently predicted the market for cash management services in China, many of which use online processes, would increase by 30% during the next three years driving the introduction of new products and services.
Yao joined PayPal from NCR Financial Service where he was vice-president of North Asia. Prior to that, he held various executive positions with IBM and EDS (now HP Enterprise Services) related to credit card and payment processing in Asia-Pacific.
PayPal, a subsidiary of online auction site eBay, processed $6 billion worth of payments in Asia-Pacific in 2009, up 38% from a year earlier.