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Plan for 'Healthy' Development of Fintech Sector Approved by China

The "healthy" development of the payment and fintech sectors was approved at a meeting on Wednesday, which was presided over by Chinese President Xi Jinping. This is a sign that the widespread crackdown on tech firms like Ant Group Co. may be easing.

According to state broadcaster China Central Television, the central commission for deepening overall reform supported improving regulation of major payment platforms. It also said that businesses would be encouraged to go back to their roots as the government improved regulation.

According to CCTV, China would implement the plans to safeguard the financial and payment infrastructure and work to prevent and neutralize systemic financial risks. The report made this claim without providing any further information. The government will also strengthen oversight of financial holding companies and financial institutions invested in by platform firms.

Beijing has pledged to roll back the crackdowns that derailed Ant's record initial public offering in 2020 and caught up every industry from gaming to online education. Following a plan established by the central bank last year, Ant will be able to integrate key operations once it has successfully established the financial holding company.

It would send a strong message that policymakers are keeping their recent promises to support the industry if restrictions on Ant, one of the most well-known victims of Xi's massive crackdown, were meaningfully loosened. In recent years, one of the most closely watched developments in the global markets has been the Communist Party's changing attitude toward the private sector. Some observers have even deemed China's expansive internet sector uninvestable.

Although the company's chairman Eric Jing predicted that Ant would eventually go public, Ant has stated that it has no plans to launch an IPO.


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