Hong Kong Facilitates Big Tech's Banking Push

Hong Kong's Monetary Authority (HKMA) has granted virtual banking licenses to Ping An Insurance's subsidiary Ping An OneConnect, Ant Financial Services' unit Ant SME Services, Xiaomi-AMTD Group's Insight Fintech HK, and the Infinium consortium that includes Tencent Holdingsaccording to the South China Morning Post.

The news comes after HKMA issued the first three licenses in March this year to Standard Chartered, Bank of China Hong Kong, and Chinese digital insurance firm ZhongAn, followed by WeLab in April. Virtual banks in Hong Kong aim to facilitate financial innovation, enhance the customer experience, and promote financial inclusion. The new ventures are expected to be live in six to nine months and will offer deposit and lending services.