What happened: The average 7-day annualized yield of 74 Yu’ebao-like online mutual funds dropped for twelve straight weeks to a two-year low of 3.07% in the week between September 21 to 27, according to data from Rong360. The yield of similar products has dropped from the highs of around 9% at their prime time to around 3% or even lower now.
Why it’s important: Alipay launched its mutual fund platform Yuebao back in 2013 along with the rise of fintech trend. The feature soon went viral among Chinese users by lowing the entry barrier that bars most small investors from getting returns higher than bank deposits. A wealth of similar services mushroomed to duplicate Yuebao’s success over years. But the growth of these services stagnated as China’s more sophisticated investors pursued higher-returns from other online investment channels like P2P and cryptocurrencies.