China to adopt ‘positive and prudent’ approach towards fintech sector, regulator says
BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China will adopt a “positive and prudent” approach towards the rapid growth of its financial technology industry and will watch over “too big to fail” cases in the sector, the head of its banking and insurance regulator said on Tuesday.
“Some big techs operate cross-sector business with financial and technology activities under one roof,” said Guo Shuqing via video at the Singapore Fintech Festival that is being held over Dec. 7-11.
“It is necessary to closely follow the spillover of those complicated risks and take timely and targeted measures to prevent new systematic risks.”
China’s financial regulators have been tightening their grip over technology firms expanding into the sector and shocked the industry in November by suspending a planned record initial public offering of Jack Ma’s Ant Group.
Beijing wants to also strengthen its oversight of the sector and has drafted rules that apply to micro-lending and anti-monopoly behaviour that will impact many of the companies currently involved in the industry.
The future of data ownership was another key area of concern for the government, Guo said.
He also called for deeper antitrust oversight of fintech firms and enhancing cyber security as 90% of banking transactions have moved online.
“Fintech is a winner-take-all industry,” he said. “With advantage of data monopoly, big tech firms tend to hinder fair competition and seek excessive profits.”
Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing, Fanny Potkin in Singapore and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Tom Hogue and Stephen Coates