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China central bank chief vows stronger fintech regulations

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People’s Bank of China (PBoC) governor Yi Gang. AFP

China central bank chief vows stronger fintech regulations

China's central bank governor vowed to keep strengthening regulation of financial technology (fintech) companies, focusing on areas including payment services, antitrust issues and data protection.

People’s Bank of China (PBoC) governor Yi Gang made his keynote speech, “China’s Experience with Regulating Big Tech”, at the 11th research network meeting of the Bank for International Settlements last week.

He said the continual development of fintech has brought new challenges to Chinese regulators. For instance, some leading platform companies launched personal credit information services without licences. Some even challenged deposits of traditional banks through the provision of “innovative internet financial products”.

Yi stressed in the speech that any “inappropriate connection” between the financial and business information systems in fintech companies should be cut off to prevent perceived monopolistic activities arising from the so-called closed-loop effect of “data-network effect-financial business”.

Firewalls should be built to prevent cross-sector risk contagion, and all financial services should run after receiving licences from regulators, including personal credit information service, he added.

Promoted by large technology companies, China’s mobile payment sector developed fast, with a mobile payment penetration rate of 86 per cent, according to the central bank’s data.

The PBoC will work with the nation’s antitrust department to curb apparent monopolistic behaviours deemed to abuse positions of market dominance, and deal with new monopoly issues, such as algorithmic discrimination, Yi said.

He also pledged to participate in the development of international rules about digital economy and tighten coordination with the Bank for International Settlements and other countries’ regulators in terms of antitrust situations, financial regulation and data protection, and to safeguard a level playing field.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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