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China Citic Bank and search engine Baidu have been granted regulatory approval for the establishment of an online bank in Beijing. The new entity, called Baixin Bank, is yet another rival to the big state banks and other traditional players in the country. China Citic says services on offer will “include lending to individuals and smaller businesses as well as the sale of investment products”.

“The market positioning of Baixin Bank is to help people better manage their assets and provide financing for the public. It will combine China Citic Bank’s advantages in network, risk control and product development with Baidu’s strength in internet technologies and traffic volume to meet individualised financial demands of our clients,” says Li Qingping, Chairman of China Citic Bank.

Baidu joins other internet giants in China – Alibaba and Tencent – in offering online banking. Alibaba and its affiliate firm, Ant Financial, launched Mybank in April 2015. Tencent was first – it rolled out Webank in January that same year.

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by Alex Hamilton
Alex is Senior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: alexanderh@ibsintelligence.com