The People’s Bank of China said in a report that it is considering expanding its risk-assessment system beyond banks to include major online financial businesses. Last month, it reached agreement with 45 nonbank financial firms—including payment systems affiliated with internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.—on joining a new payment-clearing platform called Wanglian, according to listed-company documents. This effectively gives the PBOC a clearer view of payments, enhancing regulation, said Tencent, which owns the TenPay payment system. It and Alibaba-linked Ant Financial Services Group said in separate statements that they are cooperating with the central bank. Last year, financial companies that aren’t banks handled online payments worth 99 trillion yuan ($14.7 trillion), according to a report by Payment & Clearing Association of China, an arm of the central bank. According to The Wall Street Journal, innovation has outpaced regulation, and some lending platforms have imploded, costing investors billions of dollars.
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