Ant Financial, Tencent Join Hong Kong Virtual Banking RaceMore

(Bloomberg) — Tencent Holdings Ltd., Ant Financial, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp. are among companies to win licenses to create virtual lenders in Hong Kong, bringing major players into the race to shake up the city’s traditional banking sector.

Tencent has teamed up with ICBC’s local unit and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., according to a joint statement from their venture on Thursday. Ant and Xiaomi have also got permits via local entities.

The four newly licensed firms intend to offer services within nine months, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in a statement. “The HKMA expects to be able to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation about one year after

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