Beijing has revealed ambitions to create a specialised fintech demonstration area that bridges the Chinese capital’s hi-tech zone and its financial district.
Beijing mayor Chen Jining (陈吉宁) announced the official launch of the Beijing Fintech Demonstration Zone (北京金融科技示范区) Plan on 29 May at the 2018 Financial Street Forum.
“We will strive to create a financial as well as professional services and technological innovation demonstration zone at the confluence of Financial Street and Zhongguancun,” said Chen, referring to Beijing’s main financial district and the hi-tech hub of Zhongguancun in Haidian district.
“[It] will fully utilise the financial advantages of Financial Street and the technological advantages of Zhongguancun to engage in the innovation of financial services and professional services, and drive financial security.”
Analysts point out that while Beijing is already home to a number of large-scale fintech companies, it has yet to create a specialised “industry cluster” for the sector.
The Beijing Fintech Demonstration Zone will be situated within the 10 square kilometre Zhongguancun Xicheng Park policy area, and focus primarily on six key fintech application areas including payments, loans, financing, retail banking, insurance and transaction settlements.
The demonstration zone will also play host to key financial market and infrastructure development, as well as efforts to improve public financial information and credit information technology.
Chen Jining said that Beijing’s financial sector accounted for 17% of the city’s economic activity in 2017, making it the largest individual sub-sector.
Financial Street, situated inside the 2nd Ring Road, is the current hub of Bejiing’s finance sector, hosting all of the top regulatory agencies including the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
In 2017 there were more than 1800 financial institutions domiciled on Financial Street with total assets of approximately 99.5 trillion yuan, accounting for nearly 40% of the national total.
Financial Street’s renminbi payments operations account for a 40% share of the national market, while its foreign currency payment operations account for 60%, making it China’s primary hub for the circulation of funds.