Alibaba and Tencent were high-profile casualties as the central government stepped in to regulate free-wheeling tech firms with growing financial clout. To the relief of consumers and smaller competitors, exponential growth in the tech industry is over, tells Winston Ma, former managing director of the sovereign wealth firm China Investment Corporation (CIC) in New York to Reuters.
China’s government shocked the fintech industry by introducing firm financial measures, similar to the banking sector. Ant Financial even had to cancel its massive IPO. But what we have seen is only the start of more government action to regulate the internet, says fintech expert Sara Hsu in the Diplomat. Managing capital and data are key elements.
The massive US$34.5 billion IPO by Jack Ma’s Ant Group has been derailed by regulatory action, days before its listing, and that does not make the investors happy, says political analyst Shaun Rein at AP. The decision also might rattle Chinese entrepreneurs who were considering selling shares on their own country’s market, said Rein.
China got itself into trouble a few times when lenders who got into problems paying back debts. When China offers the same loans commercial banks can offer but without political ties, China has not so much extra to give, says strategic analyst Harry Broadman about the country’s’ international debt policies in the Africa Report, taking Zambia as an example.
Financial analyst Sara Hsu, co-author of the 2020 publication “China’s fintech explosion”, discusses how tech companies became the leaders in fintech, leaving the country’s giant banks behind. She addresses an online panel of USC’s US-China Institute and explains how an underserved community offers a fertile basis for the fintech explosion.
What is Beijing’s worst nightmare? The trade war? The troubles in Hong Kong. No, says political economist Shirley Ze Yu. China’s real nightmare is a collapse of the property market, she writes in the South China Morning Post. “China’s property market is the grey rhino, overfed on massive liquidity steroids.”
Now a massive row of Chinese companies, including Alibaba, are preparing for IPO´s, both at home at abroad, insights in China´s financial industry are more important than ever,
The government wants to allow market forces to decide what financial direction the country is taking, and because more than even capital is owned by Chinese citizens, just looking at what the central government in Beijing is doing, is not longer good enough.
From a cash country, where transactions were done by moving plastic bags with money between bank branches, China has turned into a leading force in fintech or financiel technology. Mobile payment are standard. Bitcoins and blockchain technology found in China early adopters. Social media have – more than anywhere in the world – adopted payment systems to facilitate online trade.
Private companies have a hard time getting bank loans, says economist Arthur Kroeber to Barron’s. But that is nothing new, he adds, the problem is that state-owned companies get loans too easy. That division is more important than the level of China’s debts, he adds. “Too much attention has been paid to the debt problem.”