Online travel booker Trip.com Group Limited (formerly Ctrip.com) has just obtained full ownership of a fintech vehicle previously held by the propaganda wing of the Shanghai government.
Trip.com announced on 27 September that it had garnered approval from the Chinese central bank to obtain 100% of equity in Shanghai Dongfang Huirong Information Technology Services Co., Ltd. (上海东方汇融信息技术服务有限公司).
The move will provide Trip.com with access to the third party payments license that Dongfang Huirong previously obtained from the Chinese central bank.
Dongfang Huirong was founded in 2011 as a state-owned enterprise under the auspices of the propaganda department of the Shanghai municipal government. In 2012 it obtained a “Payments Operations License” from the Chinese central bank, permitting it to engage in payments operations as a non-financial institution.
The move comes just after TikTok-owner ByteDance secured a payments license for its Toutiao news-sharing platform via the acquisition of a Wuhan-based fintech company in early September.