Biz / Tech

China's fintech industry still in 'childhood' phase but has huge potential to grow

Digital technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud will act as catalyst to help fintech to grow.

China’s fintech industry is still in its "childhood" and although there are challenges it also has a huge potential to grow with help from digital technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud, industry officials told the Lendit Fintech Conference on Thursday in Shanghai.

Ye Daqing, chief executive of New York-listed, a third-party online finance firm, said in an interview at the summit that cyber lending including P2P (peer-to-peer) platforms and online insurance are still in the “childhood” period.

“Generally speaking, fintech is developing at the level similar to the United States in the 1990s. We can call the stage as kindergarten or primary school with adolescent problems,” Ye said.

New technologies will act as a catalyst to help the industry to grow, and PwC said in a recent report that 77 percent of Chinese finance firms will invest more on big data, mobile, AI and cloud within the next 12 months.

AI is set to take “center stage” in financial services, said Peter Rentons, LendIt’s co-founder. 

Tencent, whose products keep the Chinese occupied for 60 percent of their time, will use AI and cloud to fight against fraud and other challenges, said Hu Liming, general manager of Tencent Financial Cloud.

The two-day LendIt conference ends on Friday. 

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