WeBank, launched last year by China’s internet giant Tencent whose instant messaging service Wechat and QQ is used by around 650 million people, is to present at Shanghai’s Global Blockchain Summit on the 23rd of September.
As China’s first online-only bank, WeBank has extended $4.5 billion in loans, but faces stiff competition from Ant Financial’s internet bank – MYbank – as Alibaba and Tencent engage in an epic battle for domination of China’s online payments market which controls more than half of all payments in China.
They both are known to have joined blockchain consortiums, but it wasn’t previously clear whether they were incorporating blockchain tech internally. The surprise addition of WeBank to the Global Blockchain Summit strongly suggests they are and may even make an announcement (we have no knowledge of the contents of WeBank’s presentation).
They may be highly incentivized to do so as, according to FT, WeChat Pay spent $46 million on bank transaction fees in January alone. Many reports have suggested that such fees can be considerably reduced by the use of blockchain tech which would give either of the two giants a boost and an edge.