The launch of Tencent's private bank marks a
gradual opening of China's closely guarded banking sector that
is currently dominated by state giants.
As part of broader efforts to channel more loans to the
country's cash-starved small businesses, the banking regulator
has so far approved the development more than 10 private lenders
in Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Guangdong.
Shenzhen Qianhai Weizhong Bank, funded by Tencent, Shenzhen
Baiyeyuan Investment Co. and Shenzhen Liye Group, had a
registered capital of 3 billion yuan ($484.93 million), the
China Banking and Regulatory Commission said in a statement late
Also known as Webank, the lender would focus on loans to
individuals as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, the
Local business daily Caixin said Webank would officially start
its banking operations on Dec. 28.
Prior to the launch of Webank, China Minsheng Bank was the
country's sole private lender.
(Reporting by Fayen Wong; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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