Baidu, China Citic Bank get regulator’s approval to set up direct bank

Women are photographed in front of a Baidu sign during a new product launch in Shanghai, China, November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files

Chinese search engine Baidu Inc has received approval from China Banking Regulatory Commission to establish a direct bank in collaboration with China Citic Bank Corp Ltd in Beijing.

“The Bank received the approval in relation to the preparation of CITIC Baixin Bank Corporation Ltd..from China Banking Regulatory Commission, which gave its consent for the bank to prepare the establishment of CITIC Baixin Bank Corporation Ltd in Beijing,” China Citic Bank said in a statement on Thursday.

Baixin Bank, will be the first direct bank operating as an independent legal entity in China. The bank will not have any brick-and-mortar outlets, and will operate in the form of online banking, telephone banking, ATM and mobile banking, as per a China Money Network report.

Baixin Bank will be set up with a registered capital of $290 million. China Citic Bank will hold 70 per cent stake in the bank, while Fujian Baidu Borui Internet Technology Co Ltd will own the remaining 30 per cent.

“The Bank and Fujian Baidu Bo Rui Netcom Science and Technology Co., Ltd. respectively subscribe, as promoters, 1,400,000,000 ordinary shares and 600,000,000 ordinary shares of Baxin Bank, constituting, respectively, 70% and 30% of the subscribed capital. Baixin Bank will not engage in financial services during the preparation period,” the statement added.

With the regulator’s approval, Baidu has joined the league of Internet giants Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that are already operating in the direct bank space in the country.

Also Read: Baidu plans $1b IPO for video-streaming site iQiyi.com

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Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.