A senior official from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has signalled that the Chinese central government will seek to prevent the formation of oligopolies via the deployment of new fintech innovations.
Xiao Yuanqi (肖远企), CBIRC’s chief risk officer, said that financial innovations will not be allowed to “lead to the formation of oligopolies, obtain excessive returns, or harm the interests of the public.”
“We must encourage financial innovations that can maintain fair competition,” said Xiao. “Financial innovations cannot erect or solidify barriers to entry to the sector, obstruct market participation groups or reduce market activity.”
Xiao made the remarks at the 11th Caixin Summit held in Beijing on 15 November.
The remarks arrive just following the launch of multiple measures by Beijing to target the immense power and potential monopolistic conduct of China’s fintech giants.
On 10 November the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued the draft version of the “Anti-monopoly Guidelines for the Platform Economic Sphere” (关于平台经济领域的反垄断指南（征求意见稿）) for the solicitation of opinions from the Chinese public.
SAMR said that Guidelines are for the purpose of “preventing and restraining monopolistic conduct in the platform economies sphere, and strengthening and improving anti-monopolistic regulation of platform economies.”
Just prior to the release of the Guidelines Beijing suspended the USD$36 billion IPO of Chinese fintech giant Ant Group on the Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses, while on 6 November it summoned 27 of China’s leading internet platforms, including Alibaba, JD.com, Meituan and Tencent, for a meeting on “the standardisation of the online economic order.”