Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his desire of making UK the world leader in the fintech sector by 2020. Chancellor George Osborne has also said that he wishes to make UK the global fintech capital. However, as the year comes to a close, their plans are being dented by the bitcoin hotbed China which has surprisingly bagged 7 spots in the top 50 fintech companies list published by Fintech Innovators. Two of these companies, ZhongAn (#1) and Qufenqi (#4), feature in the top 5.
ZhongAn is an online insurance company which has the backing of Jack Ma, the founder of the retail giant Alibaba.
The list called The Fintech 100 is a joint effort between KPMG and H2 Ventures that analyses the global fintech space. Financial technology, commonly known as ‘fintech’ involves cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Warren Mead, Head of Challenger Banks and Global Co-Lead Fintech said: “The UK is clearly a leading center for fintech but with the rise of Chinese firms that position is not guaranteed.”
China is clearly challenging the UK’s reputation as a fintech leader; a year ago, only one Chinese company featured in this survey. Other Chinese established companies which have bagged their spots in the coveted list include Lufax (#11), Wecash (#39), FangDD (#40), Jimubox (#45), and Rong360 (#47).
Bitcoin companies Coinbase (#26) and 21 Inc (#48) also featured in top 50 fintech companies list. Coinify and Elliptic are other bitcoin companies who feature in the 50 Emerging Stars list. Blockchain startup Colu also made an entry into the list of the companies to watch out for.
China, however, is yet to produce a bitcoin or a blockchain company that manages to secure a spot in this list. It is definitely witnessing a mushrooming of related companies as trading in bitcoin reaches an all-time high. And with such a splendid performance in 2015, we can surely expect a Chinese bitcoin company in the 2016 list.