China’s central bank is reportedly pushing some of the country’s biggest fintech giants to restrict their offerings to payments.
Per an April 30 report from the Wall Street Journal, the People’s Bank of China met with representatives of some of the biggest tech firms in the country to tell them to get broader financial services off of their apps.
Many of these firms — whose ranks include Tencent, Meituan and Bytedance — follow a revenue model that Alibaba affiliate Ant Group pioneered, which rolls payments apps into broader applications that include loans and deposits.
But following the first-in, first-out principle, Ant Group was also an early victim of intensified scrutiny towards major tech firms. The financial services firm had its IPO, which was poised to set records, gutted by the Chinese government at the last minute in October. Subsequently, Ant Group has likewise had to reconfigure its business model.
In the background of this battle over tech supremacy, the People’s Bank of China is charging forward with its own digital currency. At the same time, Alipay and WeChat Pay have been central to many of the early pilots of a digital yuan.
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