Caixin
May 28, 2018 07:27 PM
FINANCE

Launch of Unified Platform Boots Private Firms From Personal Credit Business

The eight companies selected for Baihang Credit Scoring, China’s first unified personal-credit information platform, can no longer carry out individual credit assessment services. Photo: VCG
The eight companies selected for Baihang Credit Scoring, China’s first unified personal-credit information platform, can no longer carry out individual credit assessment services. Photo: VCG

Private companies such as Tencent Credit and Ant Financial Services Group’s Zhima Credit are no longer eligible to provide personal credit information services on their own, now that China’s first unified personal-credit information platform is up and running, according to a media statement that marked the launch of Baihang Credit Scoring.

The National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA), an industry association, holds a 36% stake in the new unified credit information platform. The rest is divided evenly among eight private companies: Zhima Credit, Tencent Credit Services, Pingan Group affiliate Shenzhen Qianhai Credit, Pengyuan Credit, China Chengxin Credit, Koala Credit, Intellicredit, and Sinoway Credit.

“The parts of company businesses that dealt with personal credit ratings will be incorporated into Baihang Credit Scoring, while the other parts can continue to operate as data service providers,” said Wan Cunzhi, director of the Credit Information System Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

This approach allows personal credit information to be concentrated in a shared platform, Wan said during the 14th China Credit 4.16 Summit, which opened Friday.

The Shenzhen-registered Baihang Credit Scoring officially opened for business last week after obtaining a business license from the central bank in February.

As China’s first market-driven personal credit scoring institution, Baihang will primarily collect information from online lenders and other nontraditional financial institutions to supplement the PBOC’s Credit Reference Center, which collects data from banks.

But Baihang is facing at least one significant hurdle. According to China’s Cybersecurity Law, which took effect in June, the transfer of personal information from one institution to another requires individual authorization, industry sources pointed out to Caixin.

Wan would not elaborate on how Baihang will collect and use the data, saying only that contributions to Baihang will be handled according to “market rules.”

Caixin learned earlier that Zhima Credit made significant changes to its management team and business model in April.

Existing contracts related to providing personal credit rating services will not be renewed, a person with knowledge of the matter told Caixin. In the future, Zhima Credit will research commercial credit services.

Contact reporter Liu Xiao (liuxiao@caixin.com)

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