Impending trade war to slow down flourishing Chinese fintech?

By David Beach | 22 August 2018

China's fintech and financial industries are booming thanks to shrewd economic planning since 2011, but with plans to internationalize the country's markets and a full blown trade war threatening each time US President Donald Trump takes to Twitter, it begs to wonder how the industry can continue to thrive in a domestic and global context.

For Raymond Qu, CEO of Geoswift, it is “a very unique market”. Thanks to a huge consumer trading market, China is fertile ground for fintech, something that would not be easily replicable in other parts of the world.

If Alipay and WeChat simply copied their model to Europe they’d have to change consumer behaviour first and I don’t think it would be successful.” said Qu, in a recent bobsguide interview.

For Qu, the important distinction when providing cross-border services is to ensure the “product is customer driven rather than product driven” focusing on local culture and infrastructure.

President Trump told Reuters News Agency on 21 August that he had “no time frame” to end the stand-off between the two largest economies, because “China's done too well for too long, and they've become spoiled. They dealt with people that, frankly, didn't know what they were doing, to allow us to get into this position”.

So far, the US has levied tariffs on $34bn Chinese products, with a further $16bn brought in on the 21 August. With the ‘belt and road’ strategy in full swing, it raises concerns over the durability of Chinese companies abroad, both economically and culturally.

Both WeChat and Alipay have global aspirations, and both are busy forming partnerships with global companies.

What this escalation will bring to China’s financial markets, as well as its fintechs, remains to be seen.

To shed some light on this question, Raymond Qu joins bobsguide in a live webinar on August 30, entitled ‘China’s Internationalization: risk and reward’ click the link for details. Qu will share his thoughts on:

  • Chinese financial regulations, and the country's market climate
  • The politics of the trade war
  • The state of Chinese fintech
  • Access to the country's markets
 

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