Tencent launches China's first online-only bank

Tencent launches China's first online-only bank

Internet giant Tencent has launched China's first online-only private bank in a ceremony attended by the country's premier, Li Keqiang.

WeBank, named after Tencent's hugely popular WeChat messaging service, is opening its virtual doors after the Chinese financial service regulator granted Tencent a license last year.

In total, six licenses were granted, including to Tencent rival Alibaba, as China seeks to provide competition for state-owned banks and to make it easier for small businesses to get loans.

At a ceremony to mark WeBank's launch, Premier Li Keqiang pushed a button to make the company's first loan - around $5600 to a truck driver.

Says Li: "We will lower costs for and deliver practical benefits to small clients, while forcing traditional financial institutions to accelerate reforms. It’s one small step for WeBank, one giant step for financial reform."

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 January, 2015, 05:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Tencent holds a 30% share in WeBank.

This is part of the set of licenses approved that include one to Chint Group in Wenzhou city, another in Tianjin city and a Shanghai based bank controlled by JuneYao Group.