China Citic and Baidu to rely on AI for joint venture bank

China Citic and Baidu to rely on AI for joint venture bank

Internet search giant Baidu and China Citic Bank have received regulatory approval to launch a direct banking joint venture offering loans and deposit accounts to Chinese consumers.

Baidu is looking to emulate the success of local e-commerce groups Tecncent and Alibaba, which have both opened online banks following the relaxation of bank licensing rules by Chinese authorities in 2015.

China Citic and Baidu have invested $313.34 million in cash as registered capital for the venture, in which Baidu will own 30%. Initially named Baixin Bank when the plans were first reported in 2015, the branding has shifted with the prevailing tide and will now launch as aiBank, reflecting a penchant for the use of artificial intelligence in running the business.

In a statement, Baidu says: “AI is the core element of the bank’s branding, and the bank will offer a spate of innovative services by riding on Baidu’s technology in AI and massive amounts of data."

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