Mainland China Tech Giants Won Hong Kong Virual Banking License to Challenge Traditional Banks

Abstract : An affiliate of Alibab, a Tencent backed joint venture and a Xiaomi controlled joint venture all obtained virtual banking license to operate in Hong Kong.


May 11

May 11 (ChainDD) The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced on May 9 that it has granted banking licenses under the Banking Ordinance to Ant SME Services (Hong Kong) Limited, Infinium Limited, Insight Fintech HK Limited and Ping An OneConnect Company Limited for them to operate in the form of a virtual bank. These licenses came into effect on the same day. These newly licensed banks will lunch their service in six to nine months, as their business plans scheduled,

ChainDD noted that Ant SME Services (Hong Kong) Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of Ant Financial Service Group, an affiliate company of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. Infinium Limited is a joint venture between Tencent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia), a unit of Chinese banking giant ICBC, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing - the operator of the Hong Kong stock exchange, private equity firm Hillhouse Capital and well known Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng (invested via investment entity—Perfect Ridge Limited). Insight Fintech HK Limited is also a joint venture and Xiaomi holds 90% of its shares while an investment bank AMTD Group holds the remained 10%. Ping An OneConnect Company Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ping An of China, an insurance giant in Mainland China.

The new move made the total number of virtual banking license in Hong Kong increase to eight since HKMA began to issue such license in March, 2019. And the number of licensed banks in the local market increases to 160.

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