Greater Bay Area Plan Anoints Shenzhen as Regional Fintech Capital

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China’s new policy document for the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau highlights the role of Shenzhen as a hub for the regional finteech sector.

On 18 February the Chinese government released the “Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Greater Bay Area Development Plan Outline” (粤港澳大湾区发展规划纲要), providing a policy blueprint for the future development of one of China’s powerhouse economic regions.

The Outline places heavy emphasis upon fintech, with the term appearing on multiple occasions throughout the document.

Section 3 of Chapter 6 of the Outline states that “amongst the many cities of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Greater Bay Area, Shenzhen will become the most important seeding location for fintech.”

The Section also calls for “support for the establishment of an insurance innovation development trial zone in Shenzhen, driving Shenzhen – Hong Kong financial market connection and unique financial cooperation between Shenzhen and Macau, and strengthening the establishment of a fintech vessel.”

Section 1 of Chapter 10 also makes reference to “deepening green finance and fintech cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.”

Shenzhen’s fintech industry has seen burgeoning growth in recent years, with the “2018 Global FinTech Hub Report” (2018全球金融科技中心城市报告) listing to it as one of the top seven cities for the global sector.

The Report was produced by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance in collaboration with the Zhejiang University Academy of Internet Finance, Sinai Lab and the Zhejiang Association of Internet Finance.

Shenzhen is host to over 80 listed tech companies including giants such as Huawei and Tencent, as well as Tencent-backed internet banking mammoth WeBank.

The city took first place in China with regard to internet banking, accounting for a 63.86% share of all credit extended by the sector.

The Report also ranked Shenzhen second in the world in terms of fintech consumer experience with a fintech user share of 86.%, as well as second in terms of traditional financial sector digitisation.

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