Fintech in China: Ant Financial & Lufax (or Lu.com)

We will spend one session discussing Fintech in China with two leading Fintech companies. In fact, although we used startups from US/Europe (e.g. PayPal, Lending Club, eToro, Wealthfront, & Lemonade) to drive general discussion, we often linked questions to their peers in China (or HK). After all, China has its own unique economic, financial, regulatory and political system. If we use the catchy term, China has its own “eco-system” which exhibits quite different opportunities/issues for Fintech startups or companies (TechFin) doing similar financial services or adopting similar analytics. Ant Financial and Lufax cases will illustrate how Fintech businesses (not necessarily startups) operate and grow in China. In this session, we set out to explore the unique aspects of Fintech businesses in China. Our questions will be more general and please link these questions to broader context and prior discussion.
Question 1: What was the general growth path for either Ant Financial or Lufax? By growth path, you can identify and list their key products/customer segments/markets along its timeline.

Question 2: It appears that both Ant Financial and Lufax will compete in wealth management (e.g. so called “one-stop shop” for consumer investment). Please discuss each player’s strength and weakness. Provide specific argument and evidence.

Question 3: Please apply one specific analytic skill that you learned or will learn to a possible task that Ant Financial or Lufax will engage. Please explain the task, how you proceed with what variables, and what analytics to tackle the proposed task. One clear application is enough. (for this question, please use a statistical/big data analytics method such as linear regression, principal component analysis, linear discrimination analysis. It is fine as long as it is applicable)

Question 4: Established financial institutions such as banks or insurance companies often have stronger bargaining power than their peers in US (check additional readings). How does this affect Fintech companies (TechFin such as Ant or Fintech such as startups)? Please provide specific argument and evidence.

Question 5: China is very likely open to foreign financial companies (including those Fintech startups such as LendingClub or eToro or Lemonade) due to Donald Trump and the on-going trade negotiation. Please discuss how those startups carry out their businesses in China. Feel free to focus on one startup, show your suggestion(s), argument(s) and evidence.