China’s economy is changing. Consumers have taken to e-commerce in a big way and have clicked and shopped their way to make China's e-commerce industry the biggest in the world. A key enabler has been financial reform, which has let the online and mobile payments industry grow and develop. Yet with the regulations of the past month, you'd be forgiven for scratching your head and wondering what the government had in mind...

Big data continues to be big in China's financial industry as China's Qihoo 360 moves into the segment with a data-driven finance product of its own. 

Chairman of ICBC welcomes fintech regs. No really?

Written by Zennon Kapron || August 21 2015

Earlier this week, Finance Asia reported that Yang Kaishen, CEO and Chair of the Industrial Commercial Bank of China stated that recent moves by regulators would be good for innovation. Wait...so the chair of one of the biggest SOEs in the country is in favor of legislation that cuts off the legs of innovation? Well, I'll be...

There's something to be said for the refreshing marketing on Ant Financial's new online wealth management app "Ant Fortune." Whether or not it will actually make a fortune for users is a bit unclear, but you can be sure Alibaba will do well out of it. 

Online loans, payments, and banking - nearly every segment of the banking industry has been affected by China's rapidly growing internet finance industry. For the past two years, it has done so without much regulatory oversight or intervention. That looks like it will change soon.  

Kapronasia will be presenting at Oracle's Digital Bootcamp on August 4th in Singapore. As a sneak peak of what Zennon will be talking about, here are a couple of intro thoughts on Digital Banking in China

Finger pointing on global stockmarket crashes continues unabated as The China Securities Regulatory Commission starts an investigation into Alibaba invested Hundsun Technology. 

Emerging Asia E-Commerce & Supply Chain Conference

Written by Kapronasia || July 14 2015

Kapronasia is pleased to be a media partner for the Emerging Asia E-Commerce & Supply Chain Conference to be held in Bangkok on July 29th-30th, 2015. The event continues to be one of the key events across the region and is this year again in Thailand, where payments and e-commerce remain a key focus for the country going forward. 

The big data e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba is now eager to leverage their data on millions of users and transactions in new projects. This time they have followed their formidable rival JD.com by moving into the crowdfunding area to extend financing to SMEs.

As Italy’s economy is struggling to find growth opportunities, well-off Chinese immigrants and businessmen seem to do well in the country. Chinese individuals are reported to be buying everything from fancy cars to real estate and are opening small businesses. But according to local government, their prosperity was not reflected in the local tax records to the extent the government expected it to be.

Since Beijing became more cautious on the use of foreign technology in the banking sector, Chinese banks have been intensely trying to figure out what to do next. One bank is not waiting and it's no surprise that the soon-to-launched Alibaba-affiliated internet private bank MYbank is moving in lockstep with the government policy as well as develop its own long-term technology strategy. MYbank announced it will be using an in-house cloud computing system instead of products from IBM, Oracle and EMC (IOE).

A whole generation of ordinary Chinese have been neglected in terms of wealth management and banking with high minimum investment thresholds or VIP-only products preventing only a select few from getting access to traditional wealth management products. Alibaba and Tencent have brought innovative internet finance based services such as Tenpay or Alipay to the market and have further opened up wealth management to an entire new segment of the market with 'mass-market' wealth management products. China’s e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba now is after banking industry.

A new partnership between CreditEase and Wellington has changed the rules with an incredibly easy way for the increasingly wealthy middle-class to invest abroad. 

According to data from the People's Bank of China, by the end of 2014 China had 614,900 ATMs in operation across the country, up 18.25% from 2013. While certainly a rapid growth, it was actually slower than a year ago when the number of networked ATMs increased by 25.12%, and is significantly lower than its peak growth of 36.18% in 2008.

P2P woes continue in China as illegal fundraising through P2P platforms grew in both 2014 and 2015. When will the government intervene?

How close is China's banking industry to becoming a utility?

Written by Zennon Kapron || April 29 2015

Accenture recently released its Accenture North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey for 2015. One of the findings was that banks run the risk of being seen as a 'utility' to their customers. Could the same thing happen in China?

You would be forgiven for missing the news with most of the focus this week on Shanghai's never ending stock market run or the latest mention of liberialization and opening in the bank card clearing market, but now it appears that the insurance industry will be the next segment of China's transforming financial industry to be opened up to competition.

It appears, as the WSJ reported, that the implementation of China's controversial banking technology rules has been paused for the moment. But what can we expect in the future?

China's P2P industry, which is technically a shadow banking / lending channel, continued its explosive growth in 2014 as 1,200 new platforms launched and transaction volumes grew 2.39 times as compared to 2013. At the same time the number of platforms suffering serious problems was 275, up 260% from the year before.

China launches deposit insurance

Written by Zennon Kapron || April 01 2015

Talked about for many years, one of the key reforms in China's outsized and ambitious plan is the launch of the deposit insurance program. An announcement yesterday confirmed that the program will finally launch in May.

P2P platform Lufax raises offshore capital, IPO planned

Written by Denis Suslov || March 31 2015

Shanghai based Lufax, one of China’s biggest P2P platforms, has just received a USD 483 million-worth investment from foreign institutional and private investors. Is the investment rearranging deck-chairs on a sinking ship or a clear signal that everything is fine in the troubled P2P industry?

A few days ago, the upstart Chinese manufacturer of android-based smartphones Xiaomi launched a public beta of their new online money-market fund. With Chinese tech companies furiously investing in and creating platforms bundling key products and services together, could we see Xiaomi competing directly with Alipay and Wechat in the near future?

Chinese banks in 2014: another good year

Written by Denis Suslov || March 05 2015

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) released its annual banking industry statistics for 2014. Banks accumulated RMB 172.3 trillion in assets, up 13.87% since 2013. The Big 5 large commercial banks had a slower growth rate than the joint-stock commercial banks, 8.25% and 16.50% respectively.

Will China skip the credit card revolution completely?

Written by Denis Suslov || February 24 2015

The recent PBOC annual Payments Industry Overview report shows plenty of impressive data and the main message that comes through is that "everything is growing". However, not all growth is the same and the numbers for credit cards industry are especially interesting.

One of the latest ads from Huawei, the large Chinese manufacturer of networking equipment, is a rather disturbing wrapped up ballerina's foot. While the idea is good, the advertisement shows that there's still a gap in understanding between tech and the consumer. 

Alibaba and Credit Scoring: More thoughts on Sesame Credit

Written by Zennon Kapron || February 03 2015

Personal credit ratings in China have never been a pretty subject. Without a centralized credit database accessible to all, getting accurate credit information has proved challenging for any company in China providing loan products. With Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba, launching Sesame Credit, we felt it was worth taking a second look at what might be happening here. 

Margin Call on Overleveraged China

Written by Zennon Kapron || January 28 2015

The explosion in margin lending has fueled a baseless rally in the Shanghai Composite, but the magnitude of leverage in the stock market is still coming to light.

Based on a note from the People's Bank of China, China's personal credit scores may very soon be coming from the tech giants rather than any financial institution or credit data provider. On January 5th, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) sent out a note to eight non-banking institutions that they should "prepare for personal credit information operations" within 6 months. Although the note is a bit vague, the effort could indicate the end of what has been a continual problem with personal finance in China.

China's P2P problems part of larger shadow banking squeeze

Written by Denis Suslov || January 08 2015

According to data from Online Lending House, a China P2P industry data provider, as many as 92 P2P websites had issues in December 2014, significantly more than the 76 that had trouble in all of 2013, Some websites went offline temporarily, some products turned out to be fraudulent and some businesses were closed outright.

It's official. Although the bank has already technically been approved (several times), it seems like WeBank, 30% owned by Tencent, will finally make its big splash on January 18th.

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