China tech giant units get license from Hong Kong central bank

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced it’s granted banking licenses to entities associated with China’s tech giants Alibaba, Tencent as well as insurer Ping An. This gives those entities rights to operate in the form of a virtual bank, with services expected to launch in around six to nine months.

The launch of virtual banks in Hong Kong is a key component of China’s “Smart Banking Initiatives”, said Norman Chan, chief exec of the HKMA. The HKMA will closely monitor the operations of virtual banks after they have commenced business, including customers’ reactions to the new modes of delivery of financial services as well as the impact, if any, of these virtual banks on the banking sector in general.

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