Baidu Becomes First Chinese Internet Giant to Obtain License for Consumer Finance Operations

Baidu’s finance affiliate Du Xiaoman Financial is expanding into the consumer finance sector with the acquisition of a sizeable chunk in a northern Chinese license-holding firm.

Data released by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) on 16 May indicates that the regulator’s Helongjiang office gaves its approval to a registered capital increase and equity structure adjustment for Harbin Bank Consumer Finance Co., Ltd. (哈尔滨哈银消费金融有限责任公司).

Harbin Bank has increased its registered capital from 1.05 billion yuan to 1.5 billion yuan, with Du Xiaoman Finance making a capital contribution of 450 million to become the second biggest shareholder via a 30% equity stake.

The move reportedly makes the Baidu the first out of China’s big four online giants (also including Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com) to obtain a license for consumer finance operations.

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