China is known as one of the most dynamic Fintech markets in the world, which holds the largest population of 1.4 billion people. According to EY’s 2019 Fintech Adoption Index, 87% of the Chinese population uses two or more categories of Fintech services. Chinese Fintech ecosystem holds more than a dozen fintech unicorns in sectors such as payments, insurtech, wealth-management and more.
1. Ant Financial (former name) – Ant Group（蚂蚁集团）
Zhejiang Ant Financial Services Group Co. Ltd. changed its name to Ant Technology Group Co. on 22nd June, 2021 to underline the aim of being “an innovative global technology provider” worldwide. Ant Group is a leading service to enable all consumers to have financial services across technology. Ant Group, includes several brands such as
- Alipay (支付宝)
- Yu’eBao (余额宝)
- Huabei (花呗)
- Xiang Hu Bao (相互宝)
- MYBank (网商银行)
- Zhima Credit (芝麻信用).
2. Tencent (Fintech Business) （腾讯）
Tencent is known as the main rival of Ali Group in the Chinese market. Tencent’s Fintech services aim to connect people with financial products and solutions, build an excellent Fintech ecosystem with its services such as,
- Weixin Pay/WeChat Pay (微信支付) (designed for Mainland China – WeChat Pay HK and WeChat MY are designed for Hong Kongenese and Malaysian users)
- QQ Wallet QQ钱包
- LiCaiTong (理财通)
- Credit Card Repayment (信用卡还款)
- Mobile Phone Top-Up Service (腾讯手机充值)
- Transit QR Code
- Tencent Blockchain (腾讯区块链)
- Tencent Portfolio (腾讯自选股)
- We Tax Refund
- Business Tenpay (商企付)
3. Lufax （陆金所）
Lufax Holding Ltd is one of the key leaders of personal financial services platform in China and an associate company of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (中国平安). Lufax aims to provide convenient, efficient, and personalised online wealth management services and retail credit facilitation for global investors.
4. Zhong An （众安）
ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co Ltd (众安) is the first online-only insurance company in Mainland China which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (香港联合交易所). ZhongAn’s strategy is mainly focused on merging insurance and technology together to enhance the value chain of insurance. This strategy has four main pillars – health, digital lifestyle, consumer finance and auto – to ensure customers obtain the most personalized, and intelligent insurance products and risk solutions.
5. Du Xiaoman Financial （度小满金融）
Du Xiaoman Financial (度小满金融) was founded as a finance arm of Baidu (百度), which is the main search engine of China. The company provides payment options for consumers and online investment services for investors. The most well-known Fintech product under the company is Baidu Wallet (度小满钱包), which runs as a payment system by providing both an online credit service and wealth management platform.
Jimubox is a multi-asset class, multi-product type financial marketplace that provides intelligent financial advice to the next generation of Chinese investors.
Rong 360 is a Chinese provider of customized financing and loan services. Rong 360 allows users to make direct contact with bank business personnel, while building an all-around direct selling platform of financing and loan products.
What have the Investments in Fintech been in China
Chinese Fintech startups had raised over $28.02 billion in 2019 and the following year, 2020, the startups were announced to have raised approximately $1.87 billion. China is well-known as one of the most dynamic Fintech markets worldwide, Fintech investments in China had peaked by reaching around $28.02 billion in 2018. However, in 2020 and 2021 China onboarded new laws and regulations for the Chinese Fintech ecosystem in order to mitigate the risk of fraud and market and consumer damage. Even if the pandemic helped various countries help their Fintech ecosystem mature, from China’s perspective the pandemic has caused an opposite effect on China’s economy especially for Fintech investments instead of having new unicorns born during the pandemic.
- Fintech investment in China rose from $900 million in second half of 2020 to more than $1.3 billion in the first half of 2021
- In second half of 2021, the number of regulatory compliance service provider companies has raised due to demand of Chinese financial regulators
- During the first half of 2021 China did not obtain any high amount of VC deals but, more than $100 million VC deals that happened represent the increasing diversity of Fintech startups for funding
How many Fintech Unicorns does China have?
Mainland China has a total of 13 Fintech unicorns founded by Chinese citizens. In the recently released Global Fintech Hub Report 2021, Beijing was named the best fintech hub, followed by San Francisco, New York, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and London. Beijing hold its leader position the Global Fintech Hub ranking for three consecutive years.
Which Fintech Sectors have the most Fintech Unicorns in China?
Chinese founders first and foremost have brought to the table a distinct perspective and understanding of where the gaps exist within their respective focus industries — for payments Alipay, WeChat Pay, QQ Pay, and Baidu Wallet, for wealth-tech Lufax, Yu’eBao, and LiCaiTong, for insurtech ZhongAn Insurance, and for lending HuaBei and MyBank.
Over the few last years, most of the Chinese FinTech funding was focused into three prominent subsectors: Payments, Wealth-Tech, Insurtech and Lending.