Asia overshadows US in fintech

Major technological advances have transformed the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen into fintech hubs that go head-to-head with London, New York and Silicon Valley. Bolstering the success of fintech in Asia, the continent accounted for seven of this quarter’s 14 mega funding rounds, with Ant Financial taking the largest slice of the pie with $14 billion raised alone.

According to David Bartlett, head of financial and professional services at the UK’s international trade department, Shenzhen has become a leading fintech center not just for China, but the world. Also known as ‘China’s Silicon Valley,’ the city is home to some of the largest and most innovative firms, such as Tencent Holdings, Huawei Technologies, & ZTE. Tangentially, a new report by CB Insights highlights that Asia  has exceeded the US for the first time this quarter — in terms of both venture capital-backed fintech deal count and maximum mega rounds. The report attributes this achievement to a whopping 94 % increase in Chinese deals. Currently, six out of 29 fintech unicorns are based in Asia.

Ant Financial, a payments oriented fintech and Alibaba group spin-off,  currently overshadows all Chinese based tech unicorns with a colossal equity valuation of USD145.5 billion. Read more on our coverage Ant Financial here.

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