Chinese online retail giant Alibaba’s financial services arm Ant Financial has launched online bank MYbank, which will offer loans to the small- and medium-sized Chinese enterprises.
Ant Financial will hold a 30% stake in MYbank, which has registered capital of CNY4bn ($644m). It will lend up to CNY5m to SMEs and consumers.
However, the newly launched venture will not be able to open accounts till regulators approve Alibaba’s facial recognition technology that allow customers to remotely open bank accounts.
MYbank executive chairman Eric Jing said: "MYbank is here to give affordable loans for small and micro enterprises, and we are here to provide banking services, not for the rich, but for the little guys."
The launch follows the setting up of internet lender WeBank by Alibaba’s rival Tencent in January 2015.