Senior Central Bank Official Says Fintech the Key to Bridging China’s Digital Divides


A senior official from the Chinese central bank has highlighted the ability of fintech to bridge the country’s in resolve digital and wealth divides.

Fan Yifei (范一飞), deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), wrote in a recent essay that “”fintech is a major means for bridging the digital divide, and resolving the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development.”

The PBOC deputy governor highlighted the ability of fintech to bridge digital divides in three key areas in particular:

  1. Resolve the digital development divide between urban and rural areas. “Comprehensive implementation of fintech invigorates rural village revitalisation demonstration projects, and drives the establishment of new services channels that connect offline and online, connect financial institutions and connect finance with the public sphere. The establishment of comprehensive services platform to benefit rural areas drives the in-depth integration of supply chain financial, commercial and goods flows, and permits the precision allocation of financial resources to key areas and critical links of the agricultural sector, helping to drive the modernised development of agriculture.”
  2. Resolving the digital application divide between demographic groups. “High-frequency financial applications for daily life that focus on the elderly, ethnic minorities, the disabled and other demographic groups; customised mobile financial products that suit the elderly and different ethnic groups; the application of smart mobile equipment to extend the antennae of financial services and other measures strengthen the digital capabilities of users, continually increase the depth and breadth of services, and can enable the results of tech innovations to reach and benefit more people.”
  3. Resolving the digital growth divide between institutions. “Large-scale financial institutions must play a demonstrative leadership role, and use digital transformation as an opportunity to invigorate the digital operating capabilities of the entire sector. Small and medium-sized financial institutions must become adept at using outside assistance and cooperating in the win-win acceleration of digital transformation, in order to revitalise regional economies and drive the healthy development of micro and small enterprises.”