Fintech Essential to Tapping China’s “Oceanic” Market for Rural Financial Services: ICBC


A senior executive from China’s biggest bank in terms of assets has highlighted the vast potential of China’s rural market for financial services.

“For a large-scale bank the rural village market is an extremely vast market, and further providing it with financial services will be like a blue ocean,” said Li Zong (李纵), deputy-general manager of the financial inclusion department of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), on 3 November at the 21st Century Asia Financial Annual Forum in Beijing.

Li highlighted the essential role of fintech in reaching this market.

“ICBC has always strived to create a product innovation system that corresponds to digital inclusion…this is embodied in inclusive products that are based on big data, purely online and do not require collateral guarantees, and digital supply chain finance that provides inclusive loans to micro-and-small enterprises” said Li.

Li further pointed to ICBC’s creation of purely online systems that focus on micro-and-small enterprises, as well as data-driven online risk control systems.

According to Li ICBC is China’s biggest tech investor in the banking sphere, with 35,000 fintech staff and annual tech investment of over 24 billion yuan.

“ICBC’s tech research capabilities and investments will definitely be of benefit to the revitalisation of rural villages,” said Li.

As of the end of October ICBC’s rural village revitalisation loans had reached 2.6 trillion yuan.