Shanghai's global fintech plans speed up

Zhu Shenshen
The pandemic, which forced people stay at home, had accelerated digital applications and empowered fintech development in Shanghai, industry officials told the Lujiazui Forum.
Zhu Shenshen

Shanghai is speeding up to establish itself as a global fintech center to integrate finance and technology, covering business digital transformation and the adoption of AI investment and blockchain, speakers told the 12th Lujiazui Forum on Friday. 

The pandemic, which forced people stay at home, had accelerated digital applications and empowered fintech development in the city, industry officials told a panel on “Empowering the Financial Sector for High Quality Development through Fintech Center Development.”

Shanghai has the potential to become a global fintech center with advantages that include a strong ecosystem covering a gathering finance industry, booming AI technology development, rich talent resources and policy support, speakers said. 

The speakers included officials and executives from the central bank, AXA Group, Mizuho Financial Group, PingAn Group, Bank of Shanghai and Alibaba-backed Ant Group. 

Shanghai’s fintech development will bring fresh air for digital transformation of the whole industry, covering artificial intelligence investment and blockchain, said Li Wei, director general of the People’s Bank of China’s technology department.

Shanghai, with is location and opening business environment, is also a base for China to attend the global finance system, covering cross-border e-commerce, digital wallet and finance firms' overseas expansion, said Eric Jing, executive chairman of Ant, Alibaba's fintech firm with 1.2 billion users globally.

Ant has adopted new business on electronic contracts based on blockchain, which helps business people sign agreements and avoids trips during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the company. 

COVID-19 has forced financial organizations to speed up digital  transformation and AI will also be widely used in the payment and risk control sectors, said Yasuhiro Sato, chairman of the Mizuho Financial. 

In the digitalization wave, financial firms can seek new business opportunities in B2B or business to business sector, said Denis Duverne, AXA Group’s chairman.

Shanghai is home to more than 1,600 financial organizations, with 30 percent from overseas.

Xie Yonglin, president of Ping An, talked about the digital business transformation of the financial giant, such as rapid response in car insurance handling, credit card approval and financial support for small and medium enterprises.

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