China Fintech Newsletter – Oct.30 – Nov.5

Tencent’s WeChat begins selling insurance through WeSure, an insurance broker in which a subsidiary of Tencent holds a 57.8% stake. Incorporated in October 2016, WeSure only received regulatory approval at the end of September.

Currently only a health insurance plan provided by Taikang, one of the four insurers that hold an online-only insurance license, available on WeChat and only 1% of WeChat users can access it. WeChat reported over 963 million monthly active users in the three months to June.

Tencent has made a few other investments in online insurance. A subsidiary of Tencent holds a 15% stake in Hetai Life Insurance, an online-only insurer established in January 2017. British insurer Aviva announced in January this year to establish a digital insurer in Hong Kong together with Tencent.

Tencent co-established ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, the leading online-only insurance company in China, together with e-commerce giant Alibaba and Ping An, a leading insurance company, in 2013. ZhongAn was the first to obtain an online insurance license.

The total volume of loan originations through Chinese online peer-to-peer lenders has declined for three consecutive months to RMB218.4 billion in October, according to WDZJ, a local media outlet focused on online lending. WDZJ believes it’s due to the long National Day holiday and the recent regulatory crackdown on online finance.

The total loan balances reached RMB1.17 trillion as of October, a 71% year-over-year increase. The total number of online lending platforms decreased 8% year-over-year to 1975, according to WDZJ data.

Yixin Group, which operates an online car sales site and also provides auto financing options, has submitted IPO application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Facilitating both new and used car sales, the site offers a variety of financing options, including straightforward car loans, installment plans and leasing, and auto insurance.

Yixin Group is a subsidiary of BitAuto (NYSE:BITA), or, an online portal for car information and listings. Investors in Yixin Group include three Chinese tech giants, Tencent, JD and Baidu. Its website and mobile apps have combined 50 million monthly active users, according to the company.

ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, the leading online-only insurer, unveils ZhongAn Information Technology Service Co., Ltd. (ZhongAn Technology), a wholly-owned subsidiary that provides business-facing tech solutions for finance and healthcare industries. It has launched a variety of services based on technologies such as blockchain, cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence.

Facial recognition tech developer Megvii, a.k.a. Face++, has raised US$460 million in Series C round of funding led by a state-owned venture capital fund and joined by Ant Financial (Alibaba’s finance arm), Foxconn Group, and a few other investors. (Source)

Its technology is powering Alipay, the leading online payment service under Ant Financial. Other customers of Face++ include smart device maker Xiaomi and Lenovo. More than 50,000 developers have adopted its technologies.

JD Finance, the finance arm of online retailer, unveils Jingdong Chaonao ( “Super Brain”), a facial recognition system. It has been implemented in JD Finance’s mobile app that supports facial recognition payments at physical shops. (Source)

JoinQuant, a quantitative trading platform, has received Series B funding from WisdoMont. (Source)

Online marketplace lender PPDAI has set IPO price range to raise up to US$298 million. The company plans to list on the NYSE.

Consumer lender Hexindai debuted IPO on the NASDAQ.


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