, China

Tencent applies for private banking license in China

Application being assessed by the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

Tencent Holdings Ltd, one of China's largest Internet companies, is famous for its popular social messaging app, WeChat, and its lucrative online games. It said its submission was approved by the Guangdong government.

CBRC will have to assess Tencent’s application before the latter can gain final approval, according to media reports.

Tencent already operates its Tenpay online payment system that allows digital transactions for WeChat and its other products. The firm has 236 million active users and is capitalized at US$100 million.

Analysts said Tencent probably wants to create an end-to-end system for its users, who will remain loyal to Tencent. They believe WeChat could be a huge source of financial transactions.

Tencent competitor Alibaba Group last week announced its intention to become China’s first Internet bank. It plans to IPO in Hong Kong.

Alibaba already offers loans to small business while its AliPay payment system offers money management products to users through Yu'ebao.

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