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Today In Payments Around The World: US Halts Tariffs On French Products; China Considers More Stringent Online Oversight

In today’s top payments news around the world, the United States is halting tariffs on French products, while the Cyberspace Administration of China is considering a revamp of internet oversight regulations. Plus, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that Europe is likely entering an “acute” phase of the pandemic.

US Trade Representative’s Office Suspends Tariffs On French Goods

The United States is scrapping an effort to place tariffs on $1.3 billion of French products in response to that nation’s revenue tax on Big Tech firms. “The U.S. Trade Representative has decided to suspend the tariffs in light of the ongoing investigation of similar DSTs adopted or under consideration in 10 other jurisdictions,” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a recent statement, referring to digital services taxes.

China’s Cyberspace Watchdog Mulls Stricter Online Oversight

The Cyberspace Administration of China is mulling an overhaul of internet oversight rules, which have not been revised in over two decades. China’s largest internet regular is looking for input from the public up to Feb. 7 in regard to how the regulations should be updated to being about more oversight for livestreams, online shopping and online payments. The news comes as China is increasing scrutiny of large technology companies.

WHO Warns Europe Is Entering ‘Acute’ Phase Of Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) is cautioning that Europe is likely going into an “acute” phase of the coronavirus pandemic as countries rush to quell the newest spike in infections. “Not only are we in the thick of it, we are probably in the European region in the most acute phase of transmission, and we continue to see a really big impact on hospital wards,” Dr. Catherine Smallwood of the WHO said in a digital press briefing, according to a published report.

Russian Hacker Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison

A Russian hacker who assisted in carrying out an attack on a major financial institution, among other firms, has been sentenced to 12 years in jail. The individual initially faced 15 to 20 years in jail, but a U.S. district judge ultimately shortened the sentence because of the harsh treatment the individual received prior to being extradited to the United States.

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