Purchase restrictions imposed by Alibaba's Yu'e Bao took effect as the balance of the online fund grew at a slower pace in the first quarter, data from Tianhong Fund Management, co-founder of Yu'e Bao, showed on Monday.
The net asset value reached 1.689 trillion yuan (7.94 billion) as of the first quarter of 2018, up 6.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, according to the first-quarter report of Tianhong Fund Management.
The growth rate was the slowest since the establishment of the fund in 2014, domestic news site cnstock.com reported on Monday.
Yu'e Bao's asset growth in the first quarter stood at 22.9 percent, 22.8 percent and 40.9 percent in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively, the report said.
"To prevent the excessive expansion of the fund and maintain its stable operation, we decided to adjust the service rules of Yu'e Bao from February 1 to March 15. We will temporarily set a limit on the amount of daily transfers," read an announcement on the Yu'e Bao's mobile app on February 1.
However, on March 15, Yu'e Bao said it would continue to limit the total amount of daily transfers, and the specific validity date would be announced on the Yu'e Bao webpage.
A user of Yu'e Bao told the Global Times on Monday that prior to the restriction, she had used the automatic transfer function in her Yu'e Bao account so that her salary could directly go into Yu'e Bao every month.
"I can get a return of 2.1 yuan every day with a balance of 20,000 yuan [in Yu'e Bao]," said the user, who added that she thought it was a good deal for people who don't have sufficient savings to buy other "complicated" financial products in the market.
"Since February, I haven't transferred any money to my Yu'e Bao account because it's difficult to 'snag' the quota, and you can only get it at 9 in the morning every day," the user said.
As of the end 2017, Yu'e Bao had 474 million users, of whom more than 99 percent were individual investors. The per capita holding was 3,329.57 yuan, according to the data released by Tianhong Fund Management.