China approves plan to support development of fintech sector

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BEIJING (Reuters) -Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired a top-level meeting on Wednesday that approved a plan for the healthy development of China's large payment firms and fintech sector, state media reported.

The meeting outlined that China will step up the supervision of large payment firms to ward off systemic financial risks and will support platform companies in servicing the real economy, state news agency Xinhua said, without giving details.

China will push large payment firms and fintech platforms to return to their roots, and will look to better coordinate supervision between various regulatory bodies, Xinhua also quoted the meeting as saying.

The country will also strengthen the supervision of financial holding firms and of platform firms participating in financial activities, it added.

Beijing has in recent months softened its stance over a wide-ranging crackdown that started in late 2020 with Chinese authorities abruptly pulling the plug on fintech giant Ant Group's mega IPO and later expanded to multiple industries, including technology, education and property.

Ant has been working with financial regulators for months on a broad revamp and Reuters reported last week, citing sources, that China's central bank had accepted Ant Group's application to set up a financial holding company, a key step to finish the restructuring and reviving its stock market debut.

Besides the plan related to payment and fintech firms, the meeting also approved plans on building a basic data system as well as encouraging technology talents, Xinhua said.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter)

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