The other cities besides Beijing that China will develop as global fintech hubs include Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, underpinned by regulations on fintech development.
China plans to build fintech hubs nationwide, focusing on the research and development of blockchain technology and digital currency to boost investment in financial infrastructure, according to local media reports.
According to a report issued at the 2020 China Financial Technology Forum, Beijing already ranks top among eight cities around the world due to its large consumer market, advanced technology application and fast development of the fintech ecosystem. The other cities that China aims to develop as global fintech hubs include Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, the report said.
Beijing also became the first city in China to launch fintech regulation trials in December. Up to 17 projects are undergoing tests. “The third group of fintech regulation projects in Beijing are in the pipeline,” according to Li Wei, head of the science and technology department of the PBOC (People’s Bank of China).
Regulations on fintech development will focus on protecting personal privacy, expanding fintech services to benefit more individuals and streamlining regulations, Li said.
Last year, the PBOC published a three-year fintech development plan, outlining the country’s ambitions to improve the quality of financial services, strengthen regulation on technology-driven innovations, and prevent systemic financial risks – part of broader efforts to establish the country as a world leader in financial technology.
The issuance of a CBDC (central bank digital currency) was included as part of the plan, alongside initiatives to develop fintech services based on blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence and financial security technology. So far, the basic technology framework of China’s digital currency is almost complete, with trials already underway.
China Banking Association deputy secretary-general Zhou Gengqiang said that the CBDC will provide commercial banks greater opportunities to offer safe and convenient products to customers.