State-owned China Construction Bank (CCB) and tech giant Tencent have teamed up to build a lab focused on fintech innovation, it was announced in Shenzhen this week. The lab will be led by Tencent’s cloud business unit, reports Caixin Global.
Tencent’s rival Ant Financial has also inked multiple deals with Chinese state banks, including CCB in May 2017, according to CGTN.
Caixin Global has an interesting report out wrapping up how major investment banks are picking stocks worthy of consideration because of the Greater Bay Area masterplan unveiled recently by the State Council. Insurers such as Ping An, banks such as Bank of China (Hong Kong), and tech companies such as Tencent are among their top picks.
Ping An Insurance is headquartered in Shenzhen, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. It generates 18% of its premiums from Guangdong, the highest among its peers, according to DBS.
Both the Swiss-based UBS and the Singapore-based DBS picked Shenzhen-headquartered, Hong Kong-listed Tencent Holdings Ltd. DBS said it was because they believe favorable policies for fostering talent in the Greater Bay Area can increase the internet giant’s capacity for innovation.
In the property sector, UBS favored Guangzhou-based Times China Holding Ltd. and Shenzhen-based Logan Property, while DBS picked Hong Kong developer Yuexiu Property Co., China Resources Land Ltd., China Vanke Co., Guangzhou R&F Properties Co., Kerry Properties Ltd. and Shenzhen Investment Ltd.
DBS said Guangzhou-based automaker GAC Group and Shenzhen-based electric car maker BYD will get a boost as demand for automobiles is expected to rise with government investments into improving the GBA’s transportation network.
The region’s urbanization and infrastructure buildout will also boost cement producers China Resources Cement Holdings Ltd. and Anhui Conch Cement Co., and railway construction companies China Railway Construction Corp. and China Railway Group Ltd., DBS said.
As one of the first three joint ventures granted a virtual banking license in Hong Kong, Standard Chartered has embarked on a PR effort to raise awareness of what it is doing. The bank’s Hong Kong CEO, Mary Huen Wai-yi, told the 21st Century Business Herald that the virtual bank will focus initially on providing basic deposit and lending services, which would not have minimum-balance requirements, while the process of opening an account would be easier than at a traditional bank.
Standard Chartered won the license in a venture together with Hong Kong Telecom, PCCW and China’s largest online travel agency, Ctrip. Huen did not reveal the product brand that will be offered by SC Digital Solutions, but said that it has already recruited around 100 staff from home and abroad.
Huen said the bank will ramp up its pre-opening operations over the next six to nine months. It is building capabilities in risk management, anti-money laundering, identity verification and online account set-up. The goal is to bring banking services into people’s day to day lifestyles – which are increasingly online. For example, if a user needs to book an overseas hotel through Ctrip, they should be able to do currency exchange and buy travel insurance seamlessly with the new bank.
The Shenzhen Cyberspace Laboratory has teamed up with the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen to build three large-scale projects focused on AI. According to the laboratory, the first, “Cloud Brain” will build a nationwide distributed artificial intelligence infrastructure; the second, “Target Range” will focus on cyber-security; the third, Cloud Net, is a network emulation platform.
One of four approved by Guangdong provincial authorities, the lab opened in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District last year. One of its goals is to promote the establishment of an international center for scientific and technological innovation in the Greater Bay Area.
Intel Capital has announced new investments totalling US$117 million in 14 technology startups, including Zhuhai EEasy Technology Co, according to an official release and reported by DealStreetAsia.
EEasy Technology Co. Ltd is an AI system-on-chip (SoC) design house and total solution provider. Its offerings include AI acceleration; image and graphic processing; video encoding and decoding; and mixed-signal ULSI design capabilities.
Each year, Intel Capital puts US$300 million to US$500 million into innovative companies across a wide range of emerging technologies.
Another Chinese company, Shanghai-based Cloudpick Limited, a smart retail technology provider, also won this year’s Intel funding. The 12 remaining startups are mostly from the US, with one from Israel, and represent communications, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.
Global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is to set up its Asia-Pacific center for digital services in Shenzhen, according to Shenzhen Daily.
Scheduled to open this October, the DigitalBCG Asia Pacific Center will host a big data analysis base, a digital innovation incubator and a digital solution exhibition hall.
“We decided to set up the center in Shenzhen because the city has a lot of innovative talent who can break the boundaries of different fields,” said Hans-Paul Burkner, chairman of BCG, at Saturday’s signing ceremony with the Shenzhen Municipal Commerce Bureau.
“We also want to form a diversified team of digital experts and provide the latest solutions for Chinese and global enterprises, governments and public institutions in the digital era,” he added.
As one of the consulting firm’s three regional digital centers around the world after San Francisco and Paris, the Shenzhen center aims to leverage the company’s own data analysis methods and tools to customize digital transformation strategies for customers.
It also strives to provide digital transformation services, including data analysis, artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, IT architecture, customer journey re-engineering and digital architecture.