China’s central bank yesterday issued a notice allowing eight Chinese private organizations, including Alibaba’s Sesame and Tencent, to prepare for the launch of their consumer credit rating services over a six-month period.
It’s no secret that Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba’s finance arm, has been developing Sesame, a credit scoring service based on user profiles and the behavioural data Alibaba’s marketplaces have collected. Alipay, the online payment service under Ant Financial, has had more than 300 million users.
One month after the Sesame’s website went live, Tencent announced it would roll out a similar system, intending to leverage the vast amount of data generated by its 800+ million monthly users.
Currently only the Chinese central bank, state ministries and local governments keep track of consumer credit records, but their data are not open to the public. There are not yet ant FICO score-like services available in the country.
Both Alibaba and Tencent, in related moves, are building private banks. The website of Tencent’s WeBank was launched a week ago, but no offerings are available on the site so far. It has been reported that Alibaba’s venture is named MYbank.
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)