Biz / Tech

Local startup to boost international trade

Zhu Shenshen
Founder says company has seen an urgent need for SMEs in cross-border payment infrastructure and plans to build a new foreign trade ecosystem for them.
Zhu Shenshen

Shanghai-based XTransfer aims to solve cross-border payment problems for over 100,000 of China’s smaller importers and exporters playing important roles in the national economy in spite of challenges posed by the pandemic and trade disputes, the startup said on Monday.

Founded in 2017 by several Alibaba employees, XTransfer works with banks to set up a globally unified B2B (business to business) financial network and intelligent risk management system. It mainly serves small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are often neglected by big banks and face hurdles in cross-border payments, such as transaction delays and high commission rates.

XTransfer has seen an urgent need for SMEs in cross-border payment infrastructure and plans to build a new foreign trade ecosystem for them, said Bill Deng, co-founder and chief executive.

“In the future, a new type of transaction based on data and technology will bring real competitiveness to small, medium and micro export enterprises,” Deng said in a New Year speech.

The rapid growth of cross-border e-commerce based on Internet technology and international logistics has become an "accelerator" for the stabilization of China's exports and a new driving force for international trade, according to analysts.

Of the US$2.5 trillion in Chinese exports each year, some 60 percent or more is transacted by the nation’s 4 million smaller companies, according to researchers.

The company posted its first profit last April, with business growth “over 10-fold” year on year in 2020, Deng said.

XTransfer, with its latest round of financing, is increasing its investment in artificial intelligence to prevent risks such as money laundering and fraud. Methods include verifying unification of data flow, capital flow and logistics by AI.

The company will also speed up overseas expansion. It will open a new office in Japan in March and more Asian offices in the future.

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