China's fintech insurgents march towards IPO

Disruptive startups have China’s state-owned banks on the back foot. Now they are seeking capital to build on their initial success.

When China Premier Li Keqiang visited internet bank WeBank in Qianhai, Shenzhen, in January and granted a Rmb35,000 $5,549 loan to a truck driver at the push of a button, it signaled political support at the very top for the country’s burgeoning fintech sector.

WeBank is looking to raise $1 billion in capital, valuing the company at $5 billion, according to venture capital investors. A WeBank spokeswoman declined to comment.

Other relative newcomers such as Ant Financial, Lufax and Zhong An have made great strides in recent years to attract new customers and capital at the expense of the relatively dowdy, bricks-and-mortar banking...

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