PBOC Unveils Ambitious Plans for Fintech Development in Chongqing

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The Chongqing office of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is pushing for the expanded deployment of fintech in the financial sector of the central Chinese mega-city.

PBOC’s Chongqing office has just issued the “Opinions Concerning Driving Fintech Application and Development” (关于推进金融科技应用与发展的指导意见), which outline a “development blueprint” for fintech, and seek to drive the broader application of information technologies including artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and the blockchain to Chongqing’s financial sector.

The new fintech policy is part of a broader plan to transform Chongqing into a “digital economic hub” of China’s Belt and Road initiative.

The main goal of the Opinions is to drive the in-depth integration of finance and technology by means of the “Four Zones, Two Centres and One Highland” (四区两中心一高地).

The four zones refers to the creation within Chongqing of the:

  1. Fintech sector industrial hub zone (金融科技产业聚集区),
  2. High-quality development system innovation zone (高质量发展制度创新区),
  3. Regtech application advanced implementation zone (监管科技应用先行区),
  4. Fintech benchmark demonstration zone (金融科技标准示范区).

The two centres refers to the establishment of:

  1. The State Fintech Verification Centre (国家金融科技认证中心),
  2. The Chongqing Municipal Financial Big Data Services Centre (重庆市金融大数据服务中心).

The “one highland” refers to the creation of a “first-class national fintech open cooperation highland” comprised of a new fintech innovation demonstration zone and a fintech exchange and talent cultivation platform.

Chongqing officials said that the municipality hopes to establish itself as an inland, international financial centre, and a joint-financial hub for western China with the Sichuan province capital of Chengdu.

“Chengdu and Chongqing are also a testing area for innovation and development of the digital economy, and the time for application and development of fintech is here.”

PBOC’s Chongqing office and the Chongqing municipal government will subsequently work on the creation of coordination mechanisms for fintech application and development and the strengthening of coordination between different municipal-level authorities.

The authorities will also guide regional financial institutions and fintech enterprises in jointly deepening fintech trials and financial standardisation innovation trials.

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