PPDai to invest in research institute
PPDai, China’s first online P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform listed in the US market, said yesterday that it will invest 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) within three years to set up a new research institute.
The money invested in the new PPDai Smart Finance Institute will be used to fund artificial intelligence, blockchain, finance cloud and Big Data sectors, said Zhang Jun, co-founder and chief executive of Shanghai-based PPDai.
“It’s the first company to invest more than the ‘1 billion yuan’ line in the P2P industry to develop intelligent and secure online finance services in China,” Zhang said.
PPDai, which launched an initial public offering in New York in November, has also formed a consultant team consisting of executives and researchers from FICO and CalTech. It is also cooperating on AI with research institutes under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Zhejiang University and the National University of Singapore.
AI is one of the industries to develop under China’s national strategy, which aims to develop a core AI market worth over 150 billion yuan by 2020, according to the State Council, China’s Cabinet.