On October 13th, the PBOC drew up draft measures for a guarantee fund to enhance the long-term stability of nonbank payment institutions. The PBOC said that setting up of the fund is necessary as a lack of supporting relief protection introduces risks and affects social stability when institutions are shut down due to major violations or mismanagement. The fund will mainly comprise of interest accrued from customer reserves, with nonbank payment institutions to contribute between 9.5% and 12%, depending on individual classification and rating. Contribution to the fund may be suspended if the size of the fund reaches 1 billion yuan. The fund will be managed in a special account and may be overseen by a nonprofit organization appointed by the central bank.
On October 11, the General Office of the State Council issued the "Implementation Plan for Building a Pilot Demonstration Zone of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in Shenzhen (2020-2025)" The "Implementation Plan" proposes to expand the opening up of the financial industry, and supports qualified foreign institutions to obtain payment business licenses in Shenzhen. This move is aimed at attracting foreign institutions to settle in Shenzhen for investment and to further promote competition in the payments market, especially in cross-border payments.
On October 13th, a draft personal information protection law was submitted to the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) for first review. The draft law stipulates that personal consent must be obtained before collecting and using personal information, with individuals having the right to withdraw their consent at any time. Should users of online platforms disagree to having their user data collected, online platforms are not allowed to refuse to provide them with products or services.
On October 10th, China set up a National Fintech Certification Center (国家金融科技认证中心) in Chongqing. The new center will fall under the auspices of the PBOC and The State Administration for Market Regulation. According to Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the PBOC, the establishment of the center in Chongqing marked a significant step in the implementation of the Fintech Development Plan (2019-2021) and is expected to serve as a "gatekeeper" for integrity, innovation, safety and compliance in fintech development.
On October 13th, aiBank, a fintech joint venture between Chinese Internet giant Baidu and China CITIC Bank, launched an online credit product "Haohuihua" (好会花), aimed at young individual users. The product is an online consumer loan up to a maximum amount of RMB200,000. Successful applicants have the choice of either withdrawing the loan as cash or binding their active aiBank card with Alipay and WeChat Pay to consume their credit via these two payment methods. Any credit used will be automatically repaid in installments according to selected options, with a minimum interest rate of 1.2
The Bank of China (BOC) officially launched its blockchain-based financial services for industry project on October 12th. This is the first blockchain application project in digital authentication and other industrial financial services established by a state-owned bank. The BOC intends to form a complete and efficient industrial supply chain based on this platform. In the next step, the bank will explore in-depth application models and scenarios based on blockchain technology.
On October 12th, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued 10-million-yuan worth of digital currency to 50,000 randomly selected residents who had applied to participate in the pilot test. The move is the latest in a series of trials testing out China's new Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP). Those who were successful received digital "hong bao" worth about 200 yuan, which they could download and spend at more than 3,000 stores. The PBOC says it plans to launch DCEP later this year, although it is yet to set a date. The PBOC sees yuan digitalization as a means to internationalize the yuan and reduce China’s dependence on the global dollar payment system.
On October 12th, the China Broadcasting Network Co Ltd (中国广电) was established in Beijing, becoming the fourth telecom operator in China, with a registered capital of 101.2 billion yuan (USD15.1 billion). The company will provide 5G services by joining hands with China Mobile in 5G base station building and sharing. In June 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology rolled out commercial 5G licenses to the nation's three major telecom carriers — China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom — as well as the China Broadcasting Network. China has said that it intends to spend 1.2 trillion yuan on 5G network construction by 2025.
SequoiaDB (巨杉数据库), a Guangzhou-based distributed database provider, recently completed a Series D funding round of several hundred million yuan. CICC Capital led the investment process, followed by Oriza Holdings and Yuexiu Fund. The software company develops and provides commercial support for the open source database SequoiaDB, a document-oriented NewSQL database. SequoiaDB is expected to participate in the informatization of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) initiative and enhance the technology and software capabilities within the GBA.
On October 11th, China Merchants Group (招商局集团) signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba and Ant Group in Hangzhou. According to the agreement, the three parties will rely on their existing strengths in industry, finance, and the Internet. The three parties agreed to share resources, and to promote in-depth cooperation in industrial Internet, financial services, integrated logistics, emerging industries and other commercial areas. They also agreed to jointly promote the digital upgrading of industry and serve the real economy.
A staff member from the Yongzhou Branch of the China Construction Bank illegally sold more than 3,000 credit reports containing clients’ personal information to make an illegal profit of 36,780 yuan. The staff member was sentenced to three years' probation. The individual credit reports were sold to small loan companies at a price of 10 yuan per copy.
According to the executive director of Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council, the territory could become a sandbox for the digital yuan. Hong Kong currently has a pool of over 670 billion offshore renminbi (US$100.14 billion). In addition, it is expected that the cross-border Wealth Management Connect will be launched soon. After the cross-border Wealth Management Connect and the digital currency launch, Hong Kong, as the largest offshore yuan center, will play a more important role in the internationalization of the renminbi.
Weihai City Commercial Bank, the third largest city commercial bank in China’s Shandong Province, plans to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on October 12th. The bank announced that it intends to issue around 87 million shares in Hong Kong and 824 million shares internationally. The subscription ratio of the Hong Kong public offering shares will be approximately 0.61 times. Additionally, the final offer price will be HKD 3.35 per share. The bank plans to use funds raised from the IPO to strengthen its capital base and support its ongoing expansion.
On September 30th, Fusion Bank (富融银行), a virtual bank licensed in Hong Kong, announced that it would offer personal virtual bank services, including savings, time deposits, local fund transfers, payments and foreign exchange services, to 1,000 selected customers in its initial launch phase. Fusion Bank is a joint venture owned by Tencent Holdings Limited, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, Hillhouse Capital and Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng. Fusion’s soft launch will be conducted under the auspices of the HKMA’s Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (FSS).