Summary of Alipay and WeChat May Have Grown Too Big to Fail

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Alipay and WeChat May Have Grown Too Big to Fail summary
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In 2008, the invisible hand of the free market delivered a mighty slap to the world economy. Since the financial crisis, regulators have been trying to keep their countries’ biggest financial firms from getting “too big to fail,” which means greater scrutiny on financial products and the behemoths that run them. China is no exception. The country’s biggest mobile payment players have become a dangerously integral part of China’s financial infrastructure. Readers with an interest in China’s financial regulatory bodies or institutions that might be too big to fail will appreciate Caixin’s insightful article.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why regulators have become more interested in identifying financial institutions of global significance,
  • Why mobile payment apps are making the list and 
  • How inclusion on this list will affect those institutions.
 

About the Authors

Zhang Yuzhe and Lin Jinbing write for Beijing-based Caixin.

 

Summary

Ant Financial Services, the parent company of Alipay, boasts 700 million annual users in China. Tenpay Payment Technology Company, which runs WeChat’s internal pay feature, has boasted up to one billion monthly users. Compare that to the largest state-owned banks in China, which only serve 600 million people. Ant Financial also manages the world’s largest money market fund, representing assets equal to about ¥2 trillion ($291 billion). Together, Alipay and WeChat Pay hold 90% of the mobile payment market. That’s why they have become integral to China’s financial infrastructure, and as such the government will subject them to increased oversight.


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