The battle between two of the biggest Chinese Internet companies, Tencent Holding Ltd, and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd grew intense as the duo entered into a fresh batch of competition. Both the companies are vying to win lion’s share of the banking sector in the economy as they gear up to foray in online banking. Ant Financial Services or, Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services, as many would call it, is the financial affiliate of Alibaba and they are already approaching to launch the private online bank.
As per reports, Ant Financial’s Commerce Bank - Zhejiang Internet, would commence accepting deposits and advancing its loan services. It is important to note here in this regard, earlier by this time, arch rival of Alibaba, Tencent had already commenced its services of online banking by the name of WeBank. In fact the company had also invited Li Keqiang, the celebrated Chinese premier to the launch event.
In addition, the Internet Commerce Bank by Ant is also foreseeing its launch in the market by the second quarter of this calendar year. As told by Yu Shengfa, the firm’s vice president, the date for launching the much awaited wing for Zhejiang’s Commerce Bank to foray in Internet is not yet decided. However, if the company goes by their original slated plan, the launch can happen anytime between May to June this year.
The banking industry in China at present is fairly consolidated with a handful or state-owned banks such as Agriculture Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Postal Savings Bank accounting for a majority of banking operations in the country.
The nascent ventures of online banking taken up by prominent organizations are intended to bridge the gap existing in the current system.