Ant Financial’s Hu Xiaoming Says Excess Regulation Will Hold Back Chinese Fintech Innovation

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The head of China’s biggest fintech company has highlighted a slowdown in domestic fintech investment and warned of the impacts of excessive regulation.

Hu Xiaoming (胡晓明), president of Ant Financial, said China has seen a deceleration in fintech investment growth over the past several years, in contrast to other jurisdictions such as the UK and Singapore.

Hu made the remarks at the 2019 “Fintech and the Future of Micro-loans” (金融科技与小微贷款的未来) conference held on 22 September by Tsinghua University.

The Ant Financial head warned of the potentially adverse effects of heavy-handed regulation on growth of the Chinese fintech sector, according to a report from Jinrong Jie.

“Singapore has noted that regulation absolutely cannot run ahead of financial innovation,” Hu said. “If regulation runs ahead of financial innovation, then there won’t be any innovation.”

Hu said that the success of the Chinese payments sector showed that China can serve as a driver of global fintech growth, while its leading tech hubs will eventually emerge as finance centres by following the lead of other countries.

“America’s financial center was initially in New York, before Silicon Valley and Seattle emerged,” Hu said.

“China will have four financial centres – Beijing and Shanghai at present, before two new centres emerge in future, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.”

According to Hu fintech in China must abide by two basic rationales:

  1. Risk management is the core;
  2. Financial inclusion is the original intention.

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