The UK-China fintech alliance was launched today by BGTA, following its Next Step China event held during the Innovate Finance Global Summit, which saw founding members take part in an official ceremony to mark the occasion. The alliance has been founded to address the issues of executing and driving results in the cross-border fintech market by building a bridge for knowledge exchange and commercial support between the UK and China.
BGTA aims to foster development of the global tech and investment ecosystem in the UK with a unique fund that benefits the UK via inward investment and acts as a catalyst for exports to China.
The UK-China Fintech Alliance is one of its core not-for-profit initiatives to better support collaboration between the globally recognised UK fintech sector and the rapidly growing Chinese fintech market. The 9th UK-China Economic Financial Dialogue forecast that cross-border expansion and investments are set to grow. The new alliance will address many problems that once solved, will increase the number of commercial deals and expansions between the UK and China.
One of the core problems is a lack of communication on an individual corporate level, between trusted players in the market and the wider fintech ecosystems between both countries. Communication between potential collaborative parties is hindered, which slows down potential partnerships and commercial deals, as companies try to navigate through various decision makers. The communication channel is broken.
The UK-China Fintech Alliance will provide a trusted, single-entry point to fintech market players, where its high-quality members can interact with each other. The alliance is an exclusive and vetted group of high quality companies that are considered as leading industry practitioners.
Among the founding membership, in addition to BGTA, include UK-based techUK, a membership of 950 technology business, and innovate finance, an independent not-for-profit membership association representing the UK's global fintech community. Founding Chinese organisations include Chengdu Financial Holding Group, a large scale state-owned enterprise to improve the competitiveness of its local financial industry; the fintech and Internet Security Research Center (RUC), a research centre that aims to be the leading fintech think tank and collaborative platform in China; and the Beijing Internet Finance Industrial Association, an organisation that represents more than 60 fast-growing fintech related companies in Beijing.
Helen Wang, CEO of BGTA, commented:
“The UK-China Fintech Alliance is a promising first step to supporting shared knowledge and connections, to improve commercial inertia between financial technology companies, whether they are startups or corporates. The ambition is that we can see a significant improvement for companies on both sides accessing each market, and provide a feedback loop to policy providers and decision makers, to better improve communications between these two nations. We’re proud to launch the alliance with a great list of founding members, and we welcome further businesses to join us in our mission.”
Professor Yang Dong, director, fintech and internet security research centre, added:
“The set-up of the UK-China Fintech Alliance will greatly fast-track fintech collaboration. The UK is particularly experienced in technologies, talent training and regulation in the fintech industry; therefore, the alliance will enable Chinese fintech companies to effectively build partnerships with UK organisations and further learn from them in respect of these three major parts.”
Simon Spier, head of international trade at techUK, commented:
“When UK companies decide to expand into China one of the main challenges they encounter is the difference in culture. techUK is working alongside BGTA and joining the UK-China Fintech Alliance to help organisations understand how to go about doing business in China, what opportunities there are, and the cultural differences that need to be addressed to make sure they can work in the best possible way. In addition, techUK Is supporting companies in the UK with workshops to help them better understand the Chinese market so they can be ready when they reach China.”
Members will benefit from shared knowledge between trusted parties to learn best practices, a clear communication channel to trusted players in the market, and access to high quality opportunities. The speed at which members execute into a market and formulate commercial agreements will also be faster than traditional routes. Members can also access curated, high-quality technology startups to share deal-flow, and regular updates and access to events in both the UK and China.
“Inherently UK-China business practices differ and by sharing knowledge about know-how in respective areas, we can save our members time and therefore capital.”
The founding members will set the direction of key themes and topics to be discussed in the year and will meet once every two months.
Further members can join the alliance by putting their name and company forward. Following a quality check by the administration team, trusted parties will be able to join the not-for-profit organisation and access regular meetings, roundtables and events. Members will be expected to host an event at their offices for all members to actively promote each-others ecosystem engagement.
A ceremony to launch the UK-China Fintech Alliance took place on 20 Tuesday March during Next Step China: Accessing the Fintech & Investment Powerhouse, an event bringing experts together to discuss the fintech industry and investment potential for UK companies looking to expand into the Chinese market.
The fringe event was part of the Innovate Finance Global Summit, and was co-hosted by BGTA, Innovate Finance, and ICBC Standard Bank at its offices in London. Speakers included Professor Yang Dong of the Fintech and Internet Security Research Center (RUC), Michael Hoffman founder of Palamon Capital Partners, and David Chen, managing partner at Sequoia China, among others.