Fintech Sandboxes Spread to Nine Chinese Cities in One Year, Project Numbers Rise to 86

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The number of projects in China’s fintech regulatory “sandboxes” has risen to 86 in total just a year following the official launch of the new initiative, with banking sector financial institutions accounting for the vast majority.

China’s first fintech regulatory sandbox in Beijing unveiled its first set of projects on 16 March 2020, following the solicitation of public opinions on the initiative over a two month period.

A total of nine cities in China have since launched their own fintech sandboxes, including Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xiong’an New District, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou.

As of 4 March 2021 the number of projects encompassed by these nine sandboxes stood at 86, following the announcement of Shanghai’s third set of trial projects. Beijing and Shanghai are currently home to the largest number of trial projects.

China’s Fintech Sandboxes Ranked by Project Numbers

  1. Beijing: 22
  2. Shanghai: 16
  3. Suzhou: 9
  4. Chengdu: 9
  5. Shenzhen: 8
  6. Xiong’an New District: 7
  7. Chongqing: 5
  8. Hangzhou: 5
  9. Guangzhou: 5

Chinese banks are behind the largest number of projects, participating in 74, while tech companies are participants in 40.

The technologies involved in the projects include big data, the blockchain, artificial intelligence, 5G and cloud computing. Big data is the most widely applied technology, mentioned by a total of 50 projects.

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