Ant Group agrees to share consumer data with China’s central bank

Big TechNews

Ant Group will agree to share its credit data from its consumer lending arm, Huabei, with China’s central bank in line with Beijing’s orders.

The news follows the announcement earlier this month that Beijing was seeking to disintegrate Alipay and for the company to turn over all of the user data that underpins its lending decisions to a new regulated app.

Data from that lending product will be handed over into the financial credit information database held by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), according to Ant.

Ant will pass over customer data including the date of account set up, how much credit owed and the status of repayment.

However users will need to authorise the transfer of data.

READ MORE: China to disintegrate Alipay in huge blow to Alibaba

Information such as the time of purchase or what goods are being bought will not be handed over to the PBOC.

Ant Group, which is the product of Alibaba owner and billionaire Jack Ma, had its proposed record $34.5 billon IPO suspended in November over regulatory concerns.

Ant’s lending arm business model worked by matching up potential lenders to potential borrowers however the company itself didn’t underwrite the loans.

The model concerned Beijing as it felt that it was running like a financial institution however not being regulated by the laws that traditional banks have to abide by.

As a result, Ant Group is currently in the process of becoming a financial holding company which will be overseen by the PBOC and other state regulators.

“A comprehensive and proper set of credit records will enable financial institutions to better understand users’ creditworthiness and to better serve them,” Ant Group said in a statement.

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