Corporate credit information that was once hard to come by is now easily accessible for money-lending banks in China because the country's finance industry is backed by artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing. Those technologies make it easier to borrow and safer to lend.
Lai Jun works as the deputy manager of Chengdu Vcredit Jiaozi Digital Tech. Her company helps its clients with what she calls "intelligent risk control."
"The platform we provide – supported by blockchain, AI and machine learning – reduces the cost of risk control and operation for our clients, most of whom are financial institutions," she said. "By doing that, we improve the efficiency of financial services for small and micro enterprises."
The company settled in Chengdu's Jiaozi Fintech Dreamworks, an incubator that works in partnership with government authorities. If Lai's company is a problem-solver for financial agencies, then it is Dreamworks that made that possible. It offers multiple channels for investment and financing.
Wang Juan, board chairman of Jiaozi Fintech Dreamworks, said the incubator strives to create a broader financial center in western China. To achieve that, they arrange both virtual and in-person activities for investment and financing to connect supply and demand. "There are now more than 80 enterprises here that have obtained total funds of over 11 billion yuan," she said.
Similar efforts can be found on a government level. Chinese banking authorities have narrowed the gap between lenders and borrowers, which is mainly due to information asymmetry. By designing an online credit platform in some parts of China, authorities make what used to be hard to access easily available to both sides now.
Chengdu Sotec focuses on environmental protection. After struggling to find the money needed to expand its business, a loan was approved in just three days. It all happened with just a few taps on a mobile app called Tianfu Credit, a platform spearheaded by the People's Bank of China (PBOC).
Yang Yaying is the CFO of Chengdu Sotec Environmental Technology. She said the company was told that when it pays off all the loans it borrowed via the platform, it would have fiscal subsidies with interest at 4 percent.
"We don't usually have that much funding, so I think it really improves the situation for small and micro enterprises," added Yang.
The Tianfu Credit mobile app gathers everything in one place – it includes all the data needed to show companies' ability to pay back, and all the loan schemes banks have to offer.
Yang Yuyan, credit reference chief of the Chengdu branch of the PBOC, says Tianfu Credit is equipped with big data and cloud computing. It covers all bank branches with credit business in Sichuan Province. Banks can see borrowers' credit record, including history of payment of taxes and utilities. He added that it draws up a "precise portrait" on entrepreneurial credit, reducing the information asymmetry between banks and enterprises. Over 30,000 companies have raised more than 410 billion yuan via the platform.
Be it banking officials or finance industry insiders, it seems their efforts point to an unsaid consensus that backed by emerging technology and comprehensive data collection of the nation's top banking authorities, the financial service level in China is poised to see more progress in a new era.