Online finance


Tencent, China Rapid Finance team up on new online consumer investment products

China Rapid Finance, with 1.2m borrowers on its platform that matches them with third-party lenders, serves as screening party for underlying assets of Licaitong customers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 January, 2017, 3:48pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 January, 2017, 10:34pm

Internet giant Tencent Holdings could be poised to ramp up the operations of its online wealth management service, Licaitong, under a new alliance with China Rapid Finance, operator of the mainland’s largest online consumer lending platform.

“This collaboration between CRF and Tencent’s Licaitong platform will support the development of inclusive finance in China,” China Rapid Finance founder and chief executive Zane Wang Zhengyu said in a statement on Monday.

China Rapid Finance, which has 1.2 million borrowers on its platform that matches them with third-party lenders, now serves as the screening party for the underlying assets of Licaitong customers.

Wang said the cooperation would help widen the reach of online financial services across the country, especially to the unique market segment that China Rapid Finance serves – the country’s estimated 500 million emerging middle-classes, mobile active, or EMMA, consumers with no credit history.

He pointed out that these EMMA consumers have generated a tremendous amount of data through their online search, social networks, online shopping and payments, all of which China Rapid Finance can analyse using so-called machine learning and big data algorithms.

According to China Rapid Finance, its initial campaign with Licaitong involved more than 27 million yuan (HK$30.26 million) that immediately sold out within two hours of the launch online.

The offerings included fixed-term financial products with maturities of nine, 12, 15 and 18 months. Their expected annualised returns are 4.65 per cent, 5.03 per cent, 5.63 per cent and 6.19 per cent, respectively.

“Our first cooperation with Tencent’s Licaitong platform is a great start, and we hope to further expand our cooperation with Tencent in the future,” Wang said.

Launched in 2014, Licaitong is accessible via the digital wallet functions of Tencent social messaging platforms WeChat and QQ.

The average monthly active users on WeChat, marketed as Weixin on the mainland, reached 846 million in the quarter to September 30. QQ monthly active user accounts in the same period totalled 877 million.

In 2015, Tencent partnered with China Rapid Finance to launch a campaign that pre-approved low-cost and low-interest loans to about 50 million consumers.