China adds 9th city to fintech regulatory sandbox

China’s regulatory sandbox has now expanded to a new city as the country seeks to promote the growth of emerging technologies. The city of Chengdu joins Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and more in creating an enabling environment for blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and more.

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, became the latest city to join the sandbox operated by the People’s Bank of China. It now becomes the ninth city that the PBoC is operating its sandbox in. The first was Beijing, where the regulator launched the fintech innovation supervision pilot in December 2019. Since then, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Xiong’an New Area have joined.

By joining the sandbox, Chengdu will foster the growth of emerging technologies in the city. As per a report by a local outlet, the sandbox will focus on the integration of these technologies in the financial services industry. The PBoC believes that this can drive efficiency in the industry and allow the service providers to improve the quality of service delivery and cut on costs.

Chengdu has been working with the PBoC already, the outlet revealed. The city’s government jointly released the ‘Chengdu Financial Technology Development Plan (2020-2022) this year. The plan lays out the key areas of focus as the city seeks to become a national leader in fintech. The city is already relying on blockchain technology, AI, big data, cloud computing and other emerging technologies to drive innovation in finance.

Industry insiders view the approval of the regulatory sandbox in Chengdu as a key step in the acceleration of the city’s financial innovation, the outlet revealed. The sandbox will “actively help Chengdu build a regional financial technology center with international influence.”

Chengdu becomes the latest Chinese city exploring blockchain technology. The capital Beijing recently released a blockchain blueprint that outlined how it intends to digitalize its economy on the blockchain. In Shanghai, the local courts have been using blockchain to record hearings, taking advantage of the immutable nature of the technology. Kunshan city launched a blockchain medical prescriptions app this month, with Nanjing city using the technology to distribute economic stimulus to its citizens.

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