Investment in Chinese FinTech continued at a pace in 2016 despite markets in other countries experiencing a slowdown in the sector.

It’s reported that during the first nine months of 2016, FinTech investments doubled in China, which was partly due to funding rounds completed by Ant Financial, JD Finance and China’s Lufax, reports the China Money Network.

The report states that in the first three-quarters of 2016, global financial technology investments accounted for US$18 billion, just down from the US$19 billion that was invested in the previous year. According to a report by City Asia Pacific, China made up 50 percent of the 2016 total.

During the same period FinTech investments declined within the U.S. and Europe to 38 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

China Leading the Way?

A report from October last year found that China could push London off the FinTech top spot.

The FinTech 100 list from KPMG and H2 Ventures found that of the Chinese companies listed there were eight firms within 100; however, four of those made it to the top five. These were Ant Financial, Qudian, Lufax and ZhongAn. This is compared to the U.K., which only had one firm, Atom Bank, reported in the top ten.

China is obviously a nation to watch as it continues to invest in the FinTech sector.

So much so, that the biggest financial technology private companies by total value are now those found within the Chinese nation and not the U.S. As China Money Network adds, the two largest are Ant Financial valued at US$60 billion and Lu.com, which is valued at US$18 billion.

FinTech Investment in China

In a bid to further push the Chinese FinTech agenda, it was announced late last month that Hong Kong-based industry investment firm, Credit China Fintech Holdings Ltd. was entering a $30 million agreement with bitcoin and blockchain industry giant BitFury. The deal is expected to see investment in BitFury shares and a joint-venture effort focusing on the Chinese market.

On top of that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) completed a trial run of digital currency based on blockchain technology last month while the country announced at the end of 2016 that its latest five-year plan will be supporting the development of blockchain.

Of course, with China reported to have outpaced the likes of London, New York, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Hong Kong and other leading FinTech hubs by a significant margin, 2017 could be another year where financial technology investments in China double again.

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