The speed of change and development in China in the connected fields of Fintech, Alternative/Internet Finance and Big Data has been phenomenal. In recently published reports, four of the top ten Fintech companies worldwide are Chinese, and companies named within the top 50 in KPMG’s recent China Fintech Report are now becoming established in UK and bringing innovation and expertise to Europe to support the already flourishing Fintech industry here.
When discussing China, the predisposition to label Chinese goods and services as “low cost low quality” is quickly becoming outdated. As China continues its rise, it is expected that the Middle Kingdom will come to be the global leader in a number of industries. What was not expected was that this already is becoming a reality. With the immense innovation drive seen across the country and aggressive appetite for foreign technology holders coming to fruition, China’s technology has caught up with the West in a number of verticals, namely in fintech and big data.
To address this trend, BBD UK hosted a “China and Leadership in Fintech and Big Data” forum at The Livery in London on the 11 th April 2017. BBD UK is a big data fintech company specialising in Index products to help investors, regulators and policy makers gain a closer look at the economic tendency. Finding their roots in China, BBD are well placed to comment on the growing maturity of Chinese big data and fintech capabilities. Enjoying a strong relationship with BBD, as a close partner following BBD in other forums, CBBF was invited to the China and Leadership in Fintech and Big Data forum. Armed with a panel comprised of academics as well as government and corporate leaders, the forum expanded on the trends of this new vibrant industry, the forms its development will take and where China-watchers should focus their attentions when predicting where the new clusters sector will spring from.
The current and future capabilities of China’s fintech industry were a main point of discussion. The panel pointed to a total of roughly RMB121Bn (£14Bn) in sales over a single 24 hour period during China’s Singles Day in 2016. The shopping vacation broke global records for holiday consumer activity, with data showing that 95% of all transactions were completed through mobile payment platforms. Transactions of this scale are only possible due to the technology that delivers them, and can only be improved upon by the ability to analyse the data they produce. Thus, it can be seen that China’s maturity in the fintech and big data fields are fuelled by domestic demand, a fact that will only cement itself further into the economy over time. To stay in front of this trend, China is looking to Chengdu of Sichuan Province to become China’s next fintech city. Chengdu, already home to the Great Panda, plans to focus innovation energies on specific sectors through the development of ‘fund towns’ (基金小镇), in order to develop truly global technologies for global application.
Despite a mature domestic market level, Chinese companies are still hot in pursuit of foreign innovation technologies that can bring efficiency gains and cost savings to the Chinese economy. With a rich pool of talent, the UK continues to be a major destination for Chinese investments, especially in sectors that host advanced innovation tech IP. For this reason, CBBF continues to be very active in this field, developing a strong on-the-ground understanding of this dynamic market. With the rapid pace of change in this sector, it is imperative to be well informed. Information is power, and power gets you to your destination.
“机不可失，时不再来” – Opportunity knocks at the door only once