Tencent has now received a license that allows it to sell mutual funds on WeChat to its more than 980 million users. WeChat is showing that messaging channels may be a convenient avenue for consumers to make financial decisions and transact (at least in China).
The license also comes at a time when companies in financial technology are under intense scrutiny by regulators. In the last couple months, the Chinese government has been homing in on the country’s online lending industry, which has grown exponentially in the last year and may be getting out of hand. In October the People’s Bank of China mandated online payment companies connect to a centralized clearing house and route all payments through it, which could force companies like Tencent to begin sharing user transaction data with competing companies.