China CITIC Bank and Baidu launch direct bank, AiBank
China’s internet giant Baidu and one of the country’s largest lenders, China CITIC Bank, have joined forces to launch a new direct bank, AiBank.
The joint venture was approved by the regulator earlier this year, and has now opened its virtual doors for business (it has online presence only, no physical branches).
China CITIC Bank owns 70% of AiBank, while Baidu owns 30%.
According to Li Rudong, AiBank’s president, the start-up’s main focus will be on consumer and SME lending. It will leverage modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, Rudong says.
Technology plays a big part in AiBank, with 60% of the bank’s employees working in tech roles.
Baidu’s COO, Lu Qi, describes AiBank as “the future of intelligent finance”.