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Tencent-backed WeBank partners with China Mobile fintech division to lure new users

Even with a strong backer, China’s first digital bank needs to stand more firmly on its own feet.

Photo: Tuchong

Shenzhen-based digital bank WeBank has teamed up with the fintech arm of China Mobile, the country’s largest carrier, to seek users for its online consumer loan product Weilidai, reported Xinliu Finance on Wednesday.

China Mobile Fintech has started to recruit marketing partners to promote Weilidai to those who are planning to buy new phones via bricks-and-mortar sales channels.

China Mobile itself has thousands of bricks-and-mortar outlets to provide various services to its users such as subscription signups. These outlets are also places where smart phones from companies such as Xiaomi are sold.

A cooperation with China Mobile Fintech will help expand WeBank’s presence. It is China’s first digital bank and has no offline operational outlets at all. Weilidai was first launched on QQ and then on WeChat in 2015.

This is also a new sign that WeBank, which was initiated by Tencent and other investors including Baiyeyuan and Liye Group, is eyeing growth from areas other than Tencent’s dominant social platforms WeChat and QQ.

The digital bank rolled out a new consumer loan product called Xiao’e Huaqian on the Tencent Video app, a video-streaming platform operated by Tencent, KrASIA reported last month.