China CITIC Bank and Baidu announced the creation of AiBank as they look to take advantage of the innovating China fintech market; the bank will provide lending services to consumer and SMBs, be comprised of 60 percent tech workers and leverage big data and AI; “AiBank is the future of intelligent finance … It is an institution that understands customers best and understands finance best,” noted Baidu’s COO, Qi Lu. Source.
Baidu is active in artificial intelligence (AI) development and could provide an investment channel for investors seeking to gain from the innovative technology; the company is integrating AI into nearly all aspects of its business and in September launched artificial intelligence platform "Baidu Brain" which integrates AI in search, news feeds, maps, Nuomi and PostBar; the firm is also evolving AI for healthcare and actively developing autonomous driving solutions powered by AI; overall, its business model can easily integrate AI while it also provides products for AI entrance in other markets. Source
One of China's e-commerce giants, Baidu, has obtained regulatory approval for Baixin Bank; follows banking sector business activity from competitors Alibaba and Tencent; the banking unit will be digital only, offering online banking, telephone banking, ATM and mobile banking services; Baidu owns 30% of Baixin Bank and will work in partnership with China CITIC Bank which currently owns 70% of the bank. Source
The website for the new platform is chain.baidu.com; it is a project from the firm’s research on blockchain; they see early applications of the platform in asset securitization and asset exchanges; registration on the website is open to the public and users can deploy custom blockchain nodes. Source
The new private equity fund will invest in internet and other technology investments including artificial intelligence and internet finance; China Life will contribute up to 5.6 billion yuan ($840 million) and Baidu will contribute up to 1.4 billion yuan ($210 million); investments will focus on middle to late stage financing and according to Reuters will have a "significant association" with China. Source
Zest Finance has developed a new credit scoring platform called ZAML that provides a technology solution for alternative credit underwriting; similar to other emerging alternative credit models, the technology uses machine learning software to analyze alternative credit reporting information and arrive at a lending decision; the firm has worked with Baidu to test its credit underwriting, which helped the firm approve 150% more borrowers with no increased losses. Source