China Development in Dec 2020: FinTech, 5G, Online Leisure, COVID-19

  1. FinTech

Big Tech or big technology companies are already dominating the micropayment market in the country and enjoy an undue monopoly in terms of data resources. There are also chances that some of their financial businesses may trigger new types of risks”, said Guo Shuqing, Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, in a speech via video link to the Singapore FinTech Festival.

“A minority group of technology companies have dominated the micropayment market, which relates to broad public interest. Regulators must pay close attention to these institutions’ risks, which are complicated and contagious,” said Guo, who also is chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Most of the Big Tech companies operate cross-sector businesses with financial and technology activities. The failure of these firms may lead to systemic financial risks and it is necessary to enact timely and targeted measures to prevent the same, he said.

2. 5G

It is estimated that China’s 5G communications industry will reach a value of 503.6 billion yuan (about 76.75 billion dollars) in 2020, an increase of 128 percent over the same period last year.

China’s 5G communications industry reached a value of 225 billion yuan in 2019, an increase of 133.2 percent over the same period last year, according to a White Paper recently released by China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID).

According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, it is expected that by the end of 2020, the total number of 5G base stations in China will exceed 600,000. It is estimated that China’s 5G communications industry will reach a value of 503.6 billion yuan in 2020, an increase of 128 percent over the same period last year.

3. Online Leisure

Chinese citizens on average spend 4.9 hours online for leisure, according to the Green Book of China’s Leisure.

Those born in the 1970s-80s mostly took 1-3 hours off a day for relaxation, while those born in the 2000s used 5-8 hours for leisure.

Per capita leisure spending was at 5,647 yuan ($865.12) among Chinese residents.

Livestreaming witnessed explosive growth in user numbers and satisfies the public’s need for leisure, especially during the pandemic.

Livestreaming user numbers reached 560 million as of March 2020, accounting for 62 percent of all Chinese internet users, the book said.

4. COVID-19

While Western countries chose to start with their own vaccines, other lower and middle-income countries would like to take on the Chinese ones.

One of China’s leading vaccine makers, Sinovac, has been reported to secure supply deals with several countries, including Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, and Chile, and is holding talks with the Philippines for a potential sale. Indonesia and Brazil have already received their first shipment.

Preliminary clinical results of two vaccine candidates made by Chinese firms Sinovac and Sinopharm have proven safe and effective among participants but there might be other reasons behind the international purchase.

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