Zhejiang-based Ant Financial Group VP Yu Shengfa has said that planning is underway for the Zhejiang Internet Commerce Bank (Alibaba Bank). The group is an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA). Alibaba Bank will apply for licensing in March and plans to begin operations in May or June.
Alibaba Bank is part of a proposed plan to foster the development of private banks. Alibaba Bank and Chinese internet and mobile services firm Tencent's (0700.HK) WeBank each received a response from China's Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) in March last year, however WeBank received approval two months earlier than Alibaba Bank and is already trialing operations.
Yu would not divulge what services Alibaba Bank would offer, although he admitted the company is in talks with the Central Bank about offering services for remotely held accounts.
Yu previously said that Alibaba Bank will not have offline outlets and would not offer cash-related services. Instead, it will conduct individual credit checks online and provide online banking services.