Top 8 Leading Fintech Startups in China

PV Vyshnavi PV Vyshnavi
Sep 17, 2021 9 min read
Top 8 Leading Fintech Startups in China

Fintech is one of the leading industries in the world because of many emerging unicorns in the sector. The fintech industry has become a game-changer for banking services industries as it has been tremendously impacted by Technology enterprises. Most Fintech startups offer financial services such as mobile payment, digital banking, insurance, crowdfunding, wealth management, or recently even digital currencies like cryptocurrency.

Fintech companies nowadays have to rely on advanced technology like datasets, Internet of Things (IoT) artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, or even blockchain in order to provide their services. Fintech currently has over 79 Unicorns globally making it the largest sector with the most number of Unicorns, while there are more upcoming fintech startups that will be added to the list.

The global Fintech market was said to be valued at $111 billion, while it is now expected to grow to more than $158 billion by 2023. China is often considered one of the leading countries in the sector of financial technology. The country so far has over 2,160 Fintech startups out of which over 18 are already unicorns. According to some studies over half of the worldโ€™s digital payments were made in the country using apps like Alipay and WeChat in 2017.

In 2018, China received over $25.5 billion investments into its fintech industry making it the leader in this sector. Even to this date china continues to be the leader in the industry because it completed over 600 plus deals in 2018 alone, the country also has the highest fintech adoption rate of 69% in the world.

China went through a Fintech boom because many startups wanted to fill the gap of traditional banking which lacked in the country by introducing fintech services that fulfilled the needs of ordinary people and SMEs. Because of the growth of the fraudulent practices in the Chinese sector in China, the Government has come up with rules and regulations including 65 national financial standards and 252 financial industry standards to control them.

The fintech startups in China are targeting the middle class in the sectors of wealth management, different types of insurance and private banking as the services like mobile payment is already popular in the country.

Tencent
Ant Financial
Lufax
Bitmain
Dianrong
Ping An
JD Digits (Formerly JD Finance)
Renrenxing Technology
Frequently Asked Questions


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Tencent

Company Tencent
Founded year 1998
Headquarters Shenzhen (China)
Funding $12.6 Billion
Investors Lippo Group, Prosus & Naspers, PCCW, IDG Capital
Tencent Logo
Tencent Logo

Tencent is considered to be one of the largest gaming companies in the world, but also has a foothold in the Fintech industry. Over the years the company has come up with top-notch payment services through WeChat, which was considered to be the first online-only bank offering wealth management and other financial services in China. Through WeChat Pay the company has made many strategic investments and third-party marketplaces, increasing its valuation to $21 billion in 2018.

The company was initially founded by Ma Huateng, Tony Zhang, Xu Chenye, Chen Yidan and Zeng Liqing in 1998, with its headquarters based in Shenzhen, China. The main competitor to Tencent in the fintech sector is Alipay which is under Alibaba. By the end of 2019, WeChat had is estimated 800 million users and 50 million merchants on the platform every month. This is why Tencent is one of the most financially valuable companies in the world.

Ant Financial

Company Ant Financial
Founded year 2014
Headquarters Hangzhou (China)
Funding $22 Billion
Investors General Atlantic, Meros Equity Global Management, Warburg Pincus, The Carayle Group, Credit Suisse, Temasek Holdings, Sequoia Capital, Khazanah Nasional, Silver Lake
Ant Financial Logo
Ant Financial Logo

Ant Financial is one of the top fintech startups in China that was founded in 2014 with its headquarters in Hangzhou, China. Ant Financial provides various digital payment services for both customers and businesses.

Ant Financial is known for its Alipay mobile wallets which offer financial services like transferring money to bank accounts, bill payments, online or offline mobile bill payments, among others. The brands under Ant Financial are Alipay, Ant Fortune, Yuโ€™e Bao, Zhima Credit, MYbank and Ant Financial Cloud.

Alipay also allows SMEs to accept online payments from customers through cards, corporate credit solutions and Bank transfers. Ant Financial Group is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group which is a Chinese eCommerce giant and is also said to be the worldโ€™s most valuable Unicorn Company.

As of 2018, the company has over 87 million users across the world along with JV partners, currently, it has over 1.2 billion users worldwide. Besides its mobile wallet services, Ant Financial is also a leading fundraising company in the country.


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Lufax

Company Lufax
Founded year 2011
Headquarters Shanghai (China)
Funding -
Investors HarbourVest Partners
Lufax Logo
Lufax Logo

Lufax is a popular online wealth management and P2P lending platform for personal loans. The company provides insurance services to both individuals and institutions with advanced technology like AI and Cloud. Lufax was founded by 2011 in Shanghai, China and was originally set up by Ping An as an incubation project.

It currently is the second-largest P2P lender in the country and is planning to branch out its business gradually to work with funds and insurance companies. In 2018, the company also expanded its services to Singapore, the same year it also came out with a new blockchain solution that identifies users and tracks transactions, especially between borrowers and lenders. Lufax is said to be the best Internet financing industry in China as it has accelerated the marketing process.

Bitmain

Company Bitmain
Founded year 2013
Headquarters Beijing (China)
Funding $764.7 million
Investors Temasek Holdings, Crimson Ventures, Noris Capital, Newegg, Coatue, Sequoia Capital China, CAS Investment Management, Jumbo Sheen Group, HuangPu River Capital
Bitmain Logo
Bitmain Logo

Bitcoin is a well-known Edtech startup that provides hardware-based mining solutions for Cryptocurrencies. The company was started by Micree Zhan, Jihan Wu in 2013 with its headquarters based in Beijing, China. Bitmain is known for providing hardware-based mining (ASIC) solutions for bitcoin mining. By 2018, the company became the largest designer of ASIC chips for bitcoin mining.

Besides ASIC chips the company also makes servers, simple routers, AI applications, mining tools and other services & products for blockchain. Bitmain also operates BTC.com and Antpool which became the biggest pool for bitcoin. Bitcoin introduced Bitmain Technology in 2013 that successfully engaged with the field of AI and increased power consumption speed.


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Dianrong

Company Dianrong
Founded year 2013
Headquarters Shanghai (China)
Funding $549 million
Investors Simon Investment Managers, EG Capital Advisors, Affirma Capital, ORIX Asia Capital, CITIC Securities, China Minsheng Investment Group, GIC
Dianrong Logo
Dianrong Logo

Dianrong is a leading peer to peer platform for personal loans. The company was founded in 2012 with its headquarters in Shanghai, China. Dianrong provides products and service offerings like credit ratings, investment products, marketplace lending solutions risk management and operation tools.

In 2018, the company created a supply chain finance solution designed especially for finance and business. The company provides a well planned and secure infrastructure for industry data and insights.

Ping An

Company Ping An
Founded year 1988
Headquarters Shenzhen (China)
Funding $4.8 billion
Investors -
Ping An Logo
Ping An Logo

Ping An Technology is the main subsidiary of Ping An Group a multinational conglomerate. The company is in charge of the financial sector that provides services like insurance, banking, investment, and numerous other internet businesses. The company went on to create Lufax and Oneconnect which are both well-known fintech companies in China.

The company was founded in 2008 and initially provided IT services to firms within the Ping An Insurance Group. Ping An also allows its customers to use its P2P lending services over AI technology. Ping An was the first insurance company to be selected on the index and is currently the Worldโ€™s top global insurance brand in 2020.


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JD Digits (Formerly JD Finance)

Company JD Digits
Founded year 1998
Headquarters Beijing (China)
Funding CNยฅ 34 billion
Investors CICC, COFCO, APOFCO, Sequoia Capital China, China Creation Ventures, China Taiping Insurance, Intonation Ventures, Harvest Global Investments

JD Finance is one of the leading Chinese fintech companies that was started by the JD Group in 2013. JD Group is one of the biggest B2C online retailers in China. The company has its headquarters in Beijing, China and aims to become the most trustworthy internet investment and funding platform. The company provides its customers with services for investment and financial management, which are easy, high yielding and safe.

The company uses advanced technology big data, AI, cloud computing, blockchain and IoT for providing its financial services. JD Finance is estimated to be $20 billion as it raised over $1.9 billion in 2018. The company comprises 10 business divisions that cover different types of covering corporate and consumer finance needs.

Renrenxing Technology

Company Renrenxing Technology
Founded year 2014
Headquarters Beijing (China)
Funding CNยฅ 4.5 billion

Renrenxing Technology is another popular Chinese Edtech startup that is known for developing applications for borrowing and lending money. The company started Jiedaibao in 2015 which has its headquarters in Beijing, China. Jiedaibao is a leader in providing peer to peer services for lending and borrowing money, besides that it also offers services like matching, registration, collection and other services for small loans for customers and SMEs.

The company is now known to be the countryโ€™s top tech unicorn company as its valuation is estimated to be over $10 billion. Through Jiedaibao, Renrenxing Technology has come up with an app that helps in deciding interest rates independently and based on that it generates an electronic contract that is legal. This enables their customers to get personal loans at a fixed price and get reminded of the repayment or expiry of the contract.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top Fintech startups in China?

The top Fintech startups in China are Renrenxing Technology, JD Finance, Ping An, Dianrong, Bitmain, Lufax, Ant Financial and Tencent.

How many fintech startups does China have?

The country so far has over 2,160 Fintech startups out of which over 18 are already unicorns.

What is the valuation of the global fintech market?

The global Fintech market was said to be valued at $111 billion, while it is now expected to grow to more than $158 billion by 2023.

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