Chinese Central Bank Launches Fintech Application Trials in Beijing and Shanghai

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has announced the launch of fintech application trials across ten province-level administrative entities including Beijing and Shanghai.

PBOC deputy governor Fan Yifei (范一飞) said that “fintech will inevitably welcome promising opportunities” in the wake of the economic policy settings outlined by the 19th Chinese Communist Party National Congress held in October 2017.

Fan made the remarks at a press conference held on 10 March at the sidelines of China’s Two Sessions legislative meetings.

“The People’s bank of China has strengthened fintech development plans and regulatory systems, guided the rational application of technology in the sphere of finance, and continuously upgraded the ability to service the real economy and prevent financial risk,” said Fan.

“At the end of last year we also worked with departments including the National Development and Reform Commission to launch fintech application trials in 10 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.”

Fan outlined four focal areas for the trials, for the purpose of “providing implementation experience to fintech servicing the real economy and raising analytical and planning capability.”

  1. Strengthen the application of fintech, and help resolve the problem of finance being difficult and expensive for private small and micro-enterprises. With regard to the “pain points” of bank-enterprise information asymmetries, inaccuracies in risk identification and high financing costs, explore the use of neural networks, mobile internet and other technologies to optimise lending procedures and customer assessment models, reduce lending operation costs, raise lending service efficiencies, and push for financial approvals to be more automated, product sales to be more networked and risk identification to be smarter.
  2. Properly perform top-level information infrastructure development, raise the ability of finance to benefit the people. With regard to problems such as multiple connectors for information systems and the splitting of information flows, employ technologies such as artificial intelligence and API development to drive “total reciprocal links and connections” between information systems in the financial and civil spheres. Ensure that finance fully covers key public services spheres, and increase the public’s sense of benefit.
  3. Drive the integrated usage of data resources and strengthen the ability of finance to service the real economy. With regard to problems such as inadequate supply for the real economy and the difficulty of the public in handling matters, use secure technology including multi-party computing and labelling to strengthen integrated and deep usage of data, increase data observation capability, and guide the allocation of financial resources to key areas and weak links in financial development, driving the better servicing of the real economy by finance.
  4. Strengthen regtech applications, raise the ability to screen, prevent and dissolve financial risk. With regard to the highly concealed and contagious nature of financial risk, establish financial risk regtech mechanisms that possess Chinese characteristics; research and develop regulatory platforms and tools that are based upon machine learning, data mining and other technologies, and raise the professionalism, standardisation and comprehensiveness of financial regulation.

Fan said that the next step for PBOC would be to “accelerate the unveiling of fintech development plans and continue to improve fintech regulatory systems.”

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