China central bank sets up fintech committee

China central bank sets up fintech committee

The People's Bank of China has set up a committee that will investigate the impact of fintech on monetary policy and financial markets as well as how big data and AI can be used for regulatory oversight.

China has emerged as a leading fintech player, with banks joined by huge internet players such as Alibaba and Tencent, pumping billions of dollars into areas such as mobile payments and online lending.

The central bank says that this fintech revolution has "injected new vitality" into financial services but also throws up "challenges". In response, it is organising an in-depth study on how financial and technological developments impact monetary policy, financial markets, financial stability and payments and settlement.

In addition, the committee is looking at regtech, and how the bank can "actively" use innovative technology such as big data, AI and cloud computing to boost supervision.

The bank says that it also wants to cooperate with other parties, both at home and abroad to promote the "healthy and orderly" development of China's fintech ecosystem.

In a separate move, the central bank is backing a venture capital firm called Silk Ventures that plans to invest up to $500 million in US and European tech startups, with a focus on fintech, AI and medical technologies.

The Chinese government, through the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, will provide around half of the $500 million with the rest coming from unnamed investors.

The fund has offices in London and Silicon Valley and will consider individual investments of up to $50 million. Within fintech it will focus on blockchain, currency exchange and regtech. Payments, where China already has a strong market will not be a priority.

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