China’s Biggest Internet Company Applies for Banking License
One of China’s biggest Internet companies Tencent Holdings have applied for a private banking license. A spokesperson for the China Banking Regulatory Commission confirmed the application. The person refused to be identified since he was not authorized to speak on the matter, while officials of the regulatory commission and Tencent have not given any comments as well.
Tencent is known for it popular social messaging app WeChat and other online games had their application approved by provincial authorities in Guangdong. Their application will be assessed by the regulatory commission before getting a final approval. The company’s interest in private banking will tie into its Tenpay online payment system that allows digital transactions for their apps such as WeChat. The company just introduced a free to play game and paid for stickers to the messaging app as part of their effort to monetize its active users.
Other Guangdong based firms Zongde Industrial Park in Jieyang and HeungKong Group in Guangzhou have also applied for private banking licenses. While Alibaba Group whose IPO can increase the company’s value to more than US$ 100 billion is also turning its attention to financial products.
Alibaba is currently offering loans to small businesses through its platform and AliPay payment scheme that recently started offering money management products to its users using Yu’ebao. These services allow users to generate interest on money that is stored in their AliPay account.