Ex-State Council Research Official Calls for Chinese Fintech to Increase Its International Clout

A former senior research official with China’s State Council says that the country’s fintech sector needs to increase its global influence.

“Our fintech is extremely valuable, in terms of both theoretical and practical innovation,” said Zhang Chenghui (张承惠), former head of the financial research institute of the Development Research Center of the State Council, at the 4th Fintech Innovation Case Assessment and Selection Opening Ceremony (第四届金融科技创新案例评选启动仪式) on 16 April.

Zhang said that while Chinese fintech is “on fire,” at present China does not possess much influence when it comes to international fintech rules and regulation.

“This should not be the case…now is the key window of opportunity for striving to obtain the right to speak and the right to regulate in the future fintech sector,” she said.

According to Zhang regulation isn’t just a matter of monitoring risk and controlling conduct, but also requires consideration of how to raise China’s competitiveness on the international stage by means of technology.

Zhang said that the growth of fintech will help raise the competitiveness of the Chinese financial sector, while China itself is host to a huge market for fintech which encompasses the marginal populations and villages of a large number of cities.

She highlighted the growth potential for fintech in remote rural areas as well as amongst small and micro-enterprises that are unable to obtain effective and convenient financing.

Zhang said greater regulation of fintech is critical to preventing the damage to the sector’s reputation that fraudulent activity cancause.

“All things have two sides, and at present some forms of fintech and online finance have been stigmatised,” she said.

“In actuality some of this isn’t genuine fintech, but use of the fintech banner to engage in wrongdoing.”

Huang Zhuo (黄卓), vice-chair of Peking University’s Digital Finance Research Center, said that the Chinese central bank should create innovative protection mechanisms during the process of formulating fintech development plans for China.

“The relevant departments have already set about formulating a fintech development plan for China,” said Huang. “This plan should be capable of comprehensively summarising the past several years of accomplishments and lessons in China’s fintech development.”

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