Ant Financial, Tencent, and Xiaomi Are Among HK’s New 4 Virtual Banking Licensees

by May 9, 2019

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued virtual banking rights to 4 more companies: Ant SME Services (Hong Kong) , Infinium, Insight Fintech HK, and Ping An OneConnect.

According to their business plans, these four newly licenced virtual banks intend to launch their services in around 6 to 9 months.


Many of these new licensees come with strong backing, below is a quick look at the the companies behind the new licensees. 5 were predicted earlier to be among the companies who will be granted virtual banking licenses.


Norman Chan Chief Executive of the HKMA, said:

Norman Chan

Norman Chan

“We are pleased to grant four more virtual banking licences today. The HKMA is now working closely with the 8 virtual bank licensees to prepare for the launch of their business operations in accordance with their plans.”

The HKMA will closely monitor the operations of virtual banks after they have commenced business, including customers’ reactions to the new modes of delivery of financial services as well as the impact, if any, of these virtual banks on the banking sector in general.

The HKMA expects to be able to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation about one year after the first virtual bank has launched its service.After the granting of the above banking licences, the number of licensed banks in Hong Kong increases to 160.

So far, it seems like companies backed by established corporations are still primary recipients of Hong Kong’s virtual banking license, with the exception of WeLab. Besides Tencent and Ping An, previous recipients include subsidiaries of Bank of China, JD Digits, Standard Chartered, ZhongAn and Jardines.

HKMA has now granted virtual banking licenses to 8 companies total. With several of the earlier licensees struggling to find talent, this will likely intensify the war for talent.