Internet holding company Tencent has announced the launch of China's first private bank, which will completely have online operations.
The internet-based bank, called ‘WeBank’, is a joint venture led by the China-based company and is claimed to be the first private bank to commence online operations under a pilot and got the name after Tencent’s messaging app WeChat.
With no physical branches, WeBank will focus on individuals and small businesses, rather than large entities.
With the launch of the pilot program, Tencent aims to make credit available to small businesses and forms part of the Chinese government’s efforts to cut down the amount of control state-owned banks have on its economy.
Tencent, which owns an e-commerce company, offers a range of services, including its own social network, QQ, an instant-messaging platform and the mobile app.