Cen­tral bank re­leases 3-year fin­tech de­vel­op­ment plan

Global Times US Edition - - BIZ UPDATE - By Li Qiaoyi

China’s cen­tral bank on Thurs­day re­leased a three-year plan to de­velop the na­tion’s bur­geon­ing fin­tech sec­tor, in a move to breathe fresh air into fi­nan­cial in­no­va­tion in the world’s largest in­ter­net mar­ket while curb­ing risks.

Defin­ing fin­tech as tech­nol­o­gy­driven fi­nan­cial in­no­va­tion, the plan – posted on the web­site of the Peo­ple’s Bank of China (PBC) – lays out a road map that runs from now un­til 2021.

It en­vi­sions push­ing do­mes­tic fin­tech de­vel­op­ment to­ward global lead­er­ship and en­sur­ing the na­tion’s fin­tech ap­pli­ca­tions are ad­vanced and con­trol­lable.

The re­lease of the plan sug­gests that reg­u­la­tors, who have been study­ing the sec­tor for sev­eral years, have fi­nally con­sti­tuted an ac­tion plan to lay the foun­da­tions for fin­tech growth, Yang Wang, ex­ec­u­tive pres­i­dent of the Hande Fin­tech Re­search In­sti­tute, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

In March 2017, then PBC gover­nor Zhou Xiaochuan told a press con­fer­ence dur­ing the an­nual two ses­sions that fin­tech de­vel­op­ment would be en­cour­aged while its re­sul­tant risks and un­healthy ac­tiv­ity needed to fall un­der reg­u­la­tory purview.

Since the fi­nan­cial sec­tor is meant to serve the real econ­omy, the plan will lead to a culling of the sec­tor and a sur­vival of the fittest, mean­ing that un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties such as scams in some peer-to-peer lend­ing plat­forms that ap­pear to have been dis­guised as fin­tech in­no­va­tions will die out, said Yang, who is also a se­nior re­search fel­low at the Fin­tech In­sti­tute of Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China.

This process will boost blockchain and big data de­vel­op­ment, which is be­ing held back by skep­ti­cism over their com­mer­cial vi­a­bil­ity in the real world, he noted.

The de­vel­op­ment plan outlines six pri­or­i­ties. Among them are ef­forts to strengthen the rea­son­able use of fin­tech to turn it into a “new en­gine” pow­er­ing the fi­nan­cial sec­tor’s qual­ity de­vel­op­ment.

An im­prove­ment in fin­tech in­fra­struc­ture is also be­ing pri­or­i­tized, which calls for con­tin­ued ef­forts to im­prove the ecosys­tem of the fin­tech sec­tor and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion in the fields of laws, reg­u­la­tions, credit ser­vices, stan­dards and con­sumer pro­tec­tion.

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