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China: Tencent launches internet-based bank

Monday 5 January 2015 | 02:33 PM CET

Tencent, a private investment company, has launched an internet-based bank called WeBank.

The goal of the pilot program is to make credit more available to small businesses which are at disadvantage when it comes to securing loans from state-owned banks despite being integral to China’s economic development.

Moreover, the initiative is part of the Chinese government’s efforts to reduce the amount of control that state-owned banks have on its economy and continue with financial reforms agenda.

Tencent’s first financial services product, a fund called Licaitong, was launched in January 2014, while Alibaba, Baidu, and electronics seller Suning Commerce Group also got government licenses to offer mutual funds, loans, and insurance.

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