Tencent gains license to distribute third-party mutual funds
Chinese tech giant Tencent has pushed to obtain licences to build financial service platforms to compete against rivals Alibaba Group and Baidu, and recently secured a license to sell third-party mutual funds to investors.
A Tencent-affiliated company has been granted a license to sell mutual funds by the Shenzhen Securities Regulatory Bureau, according to a statement released on Tuesday on the regulator's website.
Before the approval, Tencent only linked investors from its wealth management platform qian.qq.com to fund companies or third-party distributors.
After obtaining the license, Tencent's fund sales are expected to see a hike in 2018 through its wildly popular WeChat messaging app, which boasts over 980 million global monthly active users.
China’s financial sector has been dominated by state banks for decades, but technology companies are using their online expertise and platforms to push financial products developed by financial management firms.
In October last year, Chinese regulators gave the green-light for an independent online insurance unit called Weimin Insurance Agency, of which Tencent owns roughly 58 percent. Weimin products are also available for sale on WeChat.