Briefing: China led global 2018 fintech investments despite US trade tensions

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China drove fintech funding globally in 2018 despite rising tensions with US, report says – SCMP

What happened: Chinese investment in fintech companies reached $25.5 billion in 2018, accounting for nearly half of all fintech investments globally, a new report from consulting firm Accenture shows. More than half of China’s fintech investment came from Ant Financial’s record-setting $14 billion funding round in May.

The number of fintech investments in China more than doubled compared with a year ago to a total of 348 transactions while global investment in fintech companies more than doubled to $55.3 billion last year. US investments, which normally lead the pack, also surged year-on-year but remained significantly lower than China with the largest deal during the well under the $1 billion mark.

Why it’s important: Despite volatility in global markets and macroeconomic concerns, investment in fintech companies remains robust. Trade tensions between the US and China and increased scrutiny of foreign investments have further complicated matters and led to some deals falling through, such as Ant Financial’s $1.2 billion acquisition deal with US money transfer company MoneyGram, which failed after a US government panel rejected it over national security concerns.