China on track to have 2nd personal credit agency

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/6 18:50:34

Residents can borrow books more easily now from "intelligent lockers." Five such kinds of storage facilities have been installed in Yangpu district, Wenhui Daily reported. Users need not apply for library cards or pay a deposit to borrow books; anyone with a Sesame credit exceeding 600 will have access to the vast library. Sesame credit is a credit-scoring service from Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial. Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

China's central bank has received an application for a license to operate the nation's second personal credit agency, in the latest effort to flesh out the nation's credit rating system.

In a notice posted on its website on Friday, the People's Bank of China (PBC) said it received the application from Pudao Credit Rating Co, a new agency that will be registered in Beijing with capital of 1 billion yuan ($153.1 million).

The agency is to be jointly held by Beijing Financial Holdings Group, an investment arm of the Beijing Municipal Government, subsidiaries of online retail giant and major smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp, and artificial intelligence major Megvii Technology.

Beijing Financial Holdings Group will have a 35-percent stake in the new agency, JD Digits will have 25 percent, and Beijing Xiaomi Technology Co and Megvii will take 17.5 percent each. 

Objections can be filed during the public notification period from Friday to December 10, read the PBC statement.  

If approved, Pudao Credit would become the nation's second licensed personal credit agency following the launch of Baihang Credit in 2018.

Baihang Credit was co-invested by the National Internet Finance Association of China and eight market entities, including the credit rating operations of Ant Group and Tencent Holdings. 

The association has a stake of 36 percent, with the other eight parties each holding 8 percent. The three-year license is to expire on January 31, 2021.

As of May 22, Baihang Credit had covered 1,710 financial institutions, and it had signed agreements with nearly 1,000 institutions on credit data sharing. Its personal credit rating system had collected information on more than 85 million people with 2.2 billion credit records, according to media reports. Its cumulative collection of peer-to-peer lenders was more than 40 million, almost fully covering the nation's online lending population.

In 2015, the PBC ordered eight domestic agencies including the credit rating units of Ant Group and Tencent Holdings to start personal credit operations within six months, but it wasn't until 2018 when the first license was granted. 

Public awareness of personal data protection soared, raising requirements for the agencies, and there was a big gap between the agencies' actual preparations and market needs, as well as regulatory requirements. 

Global Times 


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