Briefing: China tech giants secure Hong Kong virtual banking licenses

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巨头齐聚香港!蚂蚁、腾讯、平安、小米获批虚拟银行牌照 – Caijing

What happened: Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today issued four more licenses for operating virtual banks. The new permits have been granted to Ant Financial, Tencent’s Tenpay, Xiaomi subsidiary Insight Fintech, and Ping An’s fintech arm OneConnect.

Why it’s important: The Hong Kong authority has granted eight companies the green light to operate online-only banks since the first batch of licenses was issued in March. Affiliates of Chinese online retailer’s fintech arm and online travel agency Ctrip’s financial unit were among the first to secure a license. Licensed companies are expected to begin operation in six to nine months. New virtual banks are expected to breathe fresh air into Hong Kong, which has long relied on traditional banking. The HKMA said previously that it expects virtual banks to help foster fintech innovation and promote financial inclusiveness.