As China continues to race towards a cashless society with mobile payments, its tech giants are playing an important role in shaping the future of consumer credit – especially in a country where only about a third of the population has a credit history.
Yesterday, Tencent launched its own credit system, Tencent Credit, to all Chinese nationals who use WeChat or QQ. Both chat apps are operated by Tencent, and each has more than 800 million monthly active users.
Depending on users’ scores, which can range between 300 and 850, they can access a number of different services and perks, including waiving deposits for housing rentals in Shenzhen, using WeChat to ride the metro, and renting Mobike bikes free for a month. Some of these offers, however, are limited to certain cities.
In the future, users will also be able to borrow up to US$47,600 in loans via Tencent Credit, using the company’s microloan service Weilidai. The loans are backed by WeBank, Tencent’s “internet bank” – there are no physical branches.
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