Global business-to-business media company Ascential plc announced on Tuesday it is bringing its global fintech innovation conference, Money 20/20, to Hangzhou from Nov. 14 to 16. This will be the first time that the conference will be held in China.
According to Ascential, Hangzhou was chosen because the city is one of the key fintech centers in China, while the country is leading the world in terms of fintech technology.
Key topics to be covered during the Hangzhou conference will include payment, block chain, banking, entrepreneurship and artificial intelligence.
The first conference was held in the United States in 2011, and Money 20/20 will return to the country for an October conference in Las Vegas. A conference will be held in Amsterdam in June and it will make its debut in the Asia market in Singapore in March.
Apart from Money 20/20, Ascential also has other projects that include the Cannes Lions festival for the branded communications industry and global fashion trend forecasting service provider WGSN.
According to the National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology, there were about 19,000 internet finance platforms in China by July last year, among which 6,000 specializing in online lending, 3,500 in internet asset management, and 800 in online crowd funding. The aggregated transaction value of online lending, crowd funding and internet payment came in at 70 trillion yuan ( trillion).
However, Chinese authorities tightened their grip on the internet finance market late last year to rein in financial risks. Regulators ordered a ban on Initial Coin Offerings and they shut down all virtual currency exchanges in the country. Unlicensed firms or individuals were banned from carrying out cash loan or micro lending businesses.
Arthur Zhu, president of Hangzhou Lianlian Yintong Electronic Payment, said that technology will be the key for fintech companies "to unlock the future". It will be the company's major mission to leverage leading technologies such as block chain and AI to provide secure and convenient payment services to users.
Rhea Liu, co-founder and vice president of Shanghai-based fintech company VFinance, pointed out that fintech companies that are able to understand the essence of each regulation and take regulatory factors into consideration while planning for their products will have more competitive advantages than others. She also said that tech-driven companies will benefit from the stricter regulatory environment.