China will continue taking steps to curb monopolistic behavior among Internet platform companies and strengthen the protection of consumer privacy and data security, central bank governor Yi Gang said.  During a keynote speech at the Bank for International Settlements’ conference on Regulating Big Tech, he explained:

“We will continue to cooperate with the anti-monopoly authorities to curb monopolies and actively deal with algorithm discrimination and other new forms of anti-competition behavior.” 

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will continue to strengthen the regulation of the payments sector and ask all financial services companies, including personal information businesses, to be licensed, Mr Yi said.

Mr Yi named three principles to guide the regulatory clean-up of fintech: financial businesses must be licensed to operate; firewalls must be set up between different parts of the business, such as insurance and wealth management, to prevent cross-sector risks; and the direct link between non-banks and banking information services must be cut.

The banking and insurance regulator has also told fintech platforms offering banking services that they must comply with the same capital requirements as those imposed on traditional lenders to curb risks.

Mr Yi said financial institutions should collect, use and store information in strict accordance with the law, and ensure they protect the personal privacy and rights of consumers. The central bank will look at defining data ownership in a more accurate manner, better facilitate data transactions and promote the fair use of data, he said.

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