Ping An Insurance to Cooperate with Octopus for A Virtual Bank License in Hong Kong
August 13, well-informed source disclosed that, Ping An Insurance is negotiating cooperation with Octopus to apply for a Hong Kong virtual banking license, according to local media outlet Mingbao.
Although Ping An Insurance declined to comment on this issue, it has launched a few initiatives in Hong Kong. The Anke Investment (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Ping An Group that registered in Hong Kong, was renamed “Ping An Technology (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd.” on last Friday.
In the mean time, three group executives are appointed to Board directors of Ping An Technology, they are Chen Xinying, vice president of Ping An Group; Chen Liming, CEO of Ping An Technology and Li Yiguang, executive vice president of Ping An Technology.
According to Mingbao, the cooperation between Ping An and Octopus is still in a preliminary stage. Octopus has huge user base,there are 35 million Octopus cards in circulation, almost all the Hong Kong citizens use Octopus cards in their daily life.
However, Octopus never thinks about developing their virtual banking service before due to the regulation and safety issue. Ping An eyes on Octopus’s user base while Octopus may also get technological support from Ping An Technology, the cooperation will be win-win opportunity for the both sides.
It is also worth noting that, the Hong Kong government also holds shares of Octopus through MTR, it comes to the issue of whether it is appropriate for the HK government to hold a virtual bank indirectly.
Nevertheless, even if Octopus may not be willing to cooperate, Ping An still has strong ambitions to set up a virtual bank. Its subsidiary Ping An Technology has been actively developing cutting-edge Fintech including artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain in recent years.
Ping An Technology has also won the bid for the blockchain trade financing platform of Hong Kong Bank which lays the foundation for entering the Hong Kong financial market.