Top 10 Fintech Startups in China

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Fintech is formed from the two words ‘finance’ and ‘technology’, i.e. it is technology being used in the world of finance or banking to better serve customers and aid innovation. Fintech is a world beyond the traditional one. It is a world where anything and everything is deemed possible, as long as it’s well-funded. There is no end to how much technology can grow. Startups today and for the past decade have been using this technology to grow and create their mark their industry. Fintech uses specialized software and algorithms to help companies and customers better manage their finances.
Here’s a list of some of the topmost Fintech startups in China-

1. Ant Financial- Being the highest valued fintech company in the world, and the world's most valuable unicorn (start-up) company (valuation of US$150 billion*), Ant Financial is an online payment services provider that enables individuals and businesses to execute payments online in a secure manner. Officially founded in October 2014, the company originated from Alipay, initially an escrow service, founded in 2004.  They use technologies such as blockchain, AI, big data, Internet of Things, and cloud computing, to achieve their mission of ‘bringing the world equal opportunities’. 

2. JD Digits- Founded by Shengqiang Chen in 2013, JD Digits (formerly JD Finance) works to connect financial and physical industries with digital technology. By using data technology and AI and IoT as the core, JD Digits has entered the fields of digital finance, digital city, digital agriculture, digital marketing, digital campus, and etc. The company has managed to enhance China’s financial technology and has launched a range of innovative products like JD Wallet, JD Finance APP, JD Microcredit and etc. 

3. Suning Financial Services- A part of Suning Holdings, Suning Financial Services is an O2O financial service company. With five core technologies: biometric identification, big data risk control, intelligent marketing, robot-advisor, and financial cloud, the company ranks as one of the top Internet finance groups. Their platform offers various online and offline financial services like Investment Finance, Insurance, Consumer Loan, Enterprise Loan, wealth management, crowdfunding, and etc. 

4. Grab- Grab operates a mobile technology platform that integrates city transportation for driver partners and customers in South East Asia. It offers services like GrabTaxi, GrabCar, GrabHitch, GrabShare, GrabCoach, GrabShuttle, GrabShuttle Plus, GrabFamily, JustGrab, GrabNow, and GrabRental. The company uses data and technology to improve transportation and payments. They work with governments, drivers, passengers, and the community. They’ve used different measures like Screening, Training, and Code of Conduct, different Safety Measures, and Insurance and 24/7 Support.

5. Lufax- Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange is an online marketplace for the origination and trading of financial assets. Founded in 2011, the company started with peer to peer lending (P2P Lending). The company is now becoming a much broader platform that works together with funds, insurance companies, and financial license holders. According to their website, ‘Lufax is committed to combining financial globalization and information technology innovation with a sound risk management system to provide professional, efficient and secure comprehensive financial asset trading information and consulting for a wide range of institutions, enterprises, and qualified investors service.’ Lufax raised $1.33 billion in its funding round in December 2018. 

6. Baidu- Founded in the year 2000, Baidu, Inc. operates an Internet search engine. The Company offers algorithmic search, voice assistance, enterprise search, online storage, news, MP3, and etc. They power many popular community-based products, such as ‘Baidu PostBar’, the world’s first and largest Chinese-language query-based online community platform, ‘Baidu Knows’, the world’s largest Chinese-language interactive knowledge-sharing platform, and ‘Baidu Encyclopedia’, the world’s largest user-generated Chinese-language encyclopedia. 

7. Dianrong- Founded by Kevin Guo and Soul Htite in 2013, Dianrong is an online marketplace lending company that uses technology to help enrich people’s lives. They provide detailed, one-stop financial information and transaction matching services for individual customers and enterprises. It is the company’s infrastructure that enables it to design and customize lending and borrowing products and services, based on industry-specific data, all supported by online risk-management and operation tools.

8. WeLab- Due to its risk management technology, WeLab effectively analyses unstructured mobile data to make credit decisions for borrowers. Founded in January 2013, the company is a leading fintech startup specialized in peer-to-peer lending. WeLab was named as one of the top 100 FinTech companies in the world – #7 in China and #23 globally, in a KPMG-sponsored report. It is claimed that despite not having met any of its customers, WeLab has had zero fraud loss.

9. Wecash- Founded in 2014 by George Zhengchun Zhi, Wecash is a big data credit assessment platform that provides solutions for technology companies. They aim to enable a better living through responsible credit, powered by bleeding-edge technology, to connect customers to financial institutions with loans tailored for their needs. The company has built a ‘lending robot’ that collects and processes more than 10,000 data points to evaluate the character, capacity, and condition of each borrower.

10. Tuandaiwang- A P2P lending company that offers a group loan network loan investment platform, Tuandaiwang provides an online loan information intermediary service platform that aims to help small and medium businesses. According to Pitchbook, ‘The company's advanced information technology level, professional data analysis capabilities, strict audit procedures, and improved risk control system as the basis for investment and financing needs ensure that individuals, institutions or enterprises get a security compliant, efficient and convenient information intermediary service platform.’

It is safe to say that Fintech has brought with itself an advanced mechanism, a different perspective and some brand new hopes for the future. Competitors and positions may change every year, but Fintech is here to stay.

*the valuation mentioned is subject to change.

- Vaishnavi Mohan

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