Na­tion takes 5 spots on fi­nan­cial tech top 10

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­GUS McNEICE in London an­gus@mail.chi­nadai­

China ce­mented its sta­tus as a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional force in fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy ser­vices this year, claim­ing five of the top 10 spots in the an­nual list of the world’s ma­jor com­pa­nies in the sec­tor.

The list was com­piled by the United King­dom-based ad­vi­sory firm KPMG and Aus­tralian in­vest­ment com­pany H2 Ven­tures.

China’s Ant Fi­nan­cial, which owns and op­er­ates the coun­try’s largest on­line pay­ment plat­form, Ali­pay, topped the 100 Lead­ing Fin­tech In­no­va­tors 2016 list, which was re­leased on Mon­day.

Ali­pay was joined by four other Chi­nese com­pa­nies. Stu­dent mi­croloan site Qu­dian, formerly known as Qufenqi, was sec­ond, in­ter­net-based lend­ing and wealth man­age­ment plat­form Lu­fax ranked fourth, on­line in­sur­ance busi­ness ZhongAn was fifth, and in­ter­net fi­nan­cial ser­vices provider JD Fi­nance was 10th.

Es­tab­lished fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies are ranked based on four fac­tors: to­tal cap­i­tal raised, rate of cap­i­tal rais­ing, lo­ca­tion and de­gree of sub-in­dus­try dis­rup­tion.

In the first quar­ter of the year, fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in China at­tracted $2.4 bil­lion from ven­ture cap­i­tal com­pa­nies in nine deals, or 49 per­cent of the $4.98 bil­lion in in­vest­ment recorded glob­ally within the sec­tor.

Oliver Thew, as­sis­tant pro­grams man­ager at the Of­fi­cial Mon­e­tary and Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tutes Fo­rum, a London think tank, said that “there is a rise in de­mand for fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion as China’s middle class con­tin­ues to ex­pand. This is ev­i­dent by the sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in (peer-to-peer) com­pa­nies, which have filled the gap in the mar­ket left by larger State-owned banks that pre­fer lend­ing to larger and State-owned com­pa­nies.

In April, Ant Fi­nan­cial raised a record $4.5 bil­lion. The com­pany an­nounced two new part­ner­ships in the United States.

Fund­ing has con­tin­ued to rise for the sec­tor world­wide, with the com­pa­nies on the list at­tract­ing an ad­di­tional $14.6 bil­lion in cap­i­tal since last year’s re­port, an in­crease of more than 40 per­cent.

Last year, two Chi­nese com­pa­nies made the top 10. ZhongAn claimed the top spot, while Qufenqi, an elec­tron­ics re­tailer that lets buy­ers pay in monthly in­stall­ments, was fourth. This year, eight Chi­nese com­pa­nies were in the top 100, com­pared with seven last year.

The US was the most rep­re­sented re­gion, with 24 com­pa­nies on the list and three in the top 10.

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