ByteDance, the Beijing-based multinational technology group behind Tiktok, is looking to add banking to its line of products and services. It is currently making an attempt to obtain a digital banking license in Singapore, according to the Financial Times, on June 15.
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Competition is tough
ByteDance is likely to compete with some of Asia’s technology giants, including Alibaba’s Ant Financial and electronics industry leader Xiaomi, for one of five virtual banking licenses that the Monetary Authority of Singapore is set to issue later this year.
The news was released, citing sources familiar with the issue, that the company has applied for one of the three wholesale banking licenses. This could indicate that the license may be limited only to serve corporate clients, small and medium businesses.
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Looking for an alliance
Although ByteDance is valued at some $75 billion and performs even better in the secondary market, the company has considered joining forces with the Lees, one of the most influential corporate families in Singapore and also the owners of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation. The partnership is expected to increase the company’s chances of success, the report says.
No official announcement has yet been made, Cointelegraph contacted ByteDance for comments, but has not received a response as of the time of this publication. This article will be updated as soon as we receive a response.
FT confirmed that ByteDance does not seek to offer a digital bank in mainland China, most of the virtual financial services are dominated by Wechat of Tencent and Alipay of Alibaba, ByteDance would have previously considered applying for a digital banking license in Hong Kong. This indicates that they may have attempted to enter e-commerce services in the past.
As Cointelegraph reported earlier, Alipay wanted to go beyond payments and attract both merchants and service providers in China with mini programs, banks could also integrate blockchain technology to increase their services. The fintech race in Asia is beginning to grow rapidly.