We are witnessing a huge boom in the financial and investment industries in China, fuelled by increasing levels of wealth and a growing number of affluent investors in the finance sector. China’s financial services industry has grown rapidly over the past five years with greater product offerings, a wider pool of talent and the proliferation of sales channels increasing the scale and quantity of investment in this industry.
The financial sector continues its transformation into a more mature and complex market that will both welcome international investment and invest overseas.
A race for investment in an evolving landscape
As the industry’s prospects in China remain attractive, so increases the level of investment in different segment and products. Intelligent foresights are key with high growth margins the reward. It is notable how fast this industry has developed as frantic, modern China hurtles towards the future. Investment is geared up for this, large figures, large returns in a short space of time.
The financial sector continues its transformation into a more mature and complex market that will both welcome international investment and continue to invest overseas.
Retail banking !
Retail banking in China in 2015 was the world’s second largest market after the US. An estimated annual revenue pool of $280 billion is expected by 2020. Chinese banks have capitalized on such projections and focused on scalability over profitability with the likelihood of profit down the line. This model was effective based on forecasts but is, not in the long term, sustainable.
There has now been a shift towards increasing returns on assets and customer satisfaction. In some segments, such as the credit-card market in major 1st and 2nd tier Chinese cities, penetration has reached a high point, further growth now cannot be attained by acquiring new customers. Instead they have to focus on the profitability of existing customers, this is back to basics in retail banking. Banks will witness continued growth if they shift to improving profit per individual customer.
The Chinese securities market
A securities market is used in an economy to attract new capital, transfer real assets in financial assets, determine price which will balance demand and supply and provide a means to invest money in the long and short term.
This market has fluctuated wildly in China but over the last year has been restored in terms of profitability. Business and economic models were adjusted to ensure stability.
The issue here is that during the boom years (and we are in such an era) many will profit from investing in this area but with the inevitable down-turns we have seen that the business models do not perform as well.
The answer is more intelligent, deep insights for investors, improved brokerage products and personal advisory services that are trusted and based on continued results.
Life insurance !
The Chinese life insurance market slowed in 2012 but has picked up again with the growing middle class investing in such services. A growing aging population as a result of the One Child Policy has also resulted in greater numbers of citizens taking out insurance.
Customer needs are the most important factor here, the whole product lifecycle needs to tap into their wants and needs in order to maximise profitability. Expanding the product range and the marketing of these products in innovative ways is important.
Online trends are re-shaping the financial sector
Online banking is a popular buzzword within China’s financial industry last year. Today, while Chinese consumers are given more choices than ever to pay and to manage their banking accounts.
Since the first launch of Yue Bao (an internet-based wealth management product owned by Alibaba) in 2013, the number of registered users had gone beyond 149 million by the third quarter of last year. According to Nielsen’s Financial Tracking Report, around 45% of online respondents claimed that they have invested in any internet-based wealth management products (including P2P, Yue Bao and WeChat-based wealth management products).
Online wealth management is a huge area for growth and further investment in China, particularly with the popularity of third party payment apps such as Alipay offering basic wealth management services to be expanded upon. Senior citizens particularly represent a huge market for wealth management and distribution online.
Chinese Digital strategy to attract and make investment !
Large firms and wealthy individuals need to understand that in China, the whole market place is digital. 800 million netziens are now online, representing a 55% online penetration rate. Finance too is an online game with presence and visibility vital.
Traditionally companies see digital strategy as B2C approach but in China, with the prevalence of digital, the B2B infrastructure for investment also utilizes such digital methods.
For attracting investment or building partnerships in China you need to generate a positive reputation and visibility online. The market has developed under a very different set of conditions so it’s important to keep in mind that all strategy needs to be Chinese specific.
Financial players need to grow their presence and reputation online in B2B investment:
1) A Quality Chinese website
This needs to be optimized for Baidu (search engine optimization), hosted on a local server with a .cn domain. Creating a quality Chinese site is integral for ‘face’, the concept of a strong impression and image in China.
2) SEO/SEA on Baidu
SEO is about ranking highly on Baidu, the largest search engine in China with 70% of all online research conducted via this platform. Ranking highly in the natural results through a long term, sustained keyword optimization strategy is the best way to attract quality investment leads based on mandarin character keyword searches. This is achieved through backlinks, references and quality content.
SEA is the ads on Baidu, fastest way to get traffic
3) Financial Influencers and forums !
Financial influencers can be connected with on specialized forums and networks. These are respected figures in this industry with the connections and influence to grow. WeChat, the largest social media platform, is a key way to stay in touch with prospects and connections.
4) PR and Financial Digital News !
Quality Chinese PR is a necessity to appear in the right business and financial digital news sources. This is the number one method for raising awareness and reputability amongst the financial sector. Specialist Chinese publications will only publish, quality and interesting news pieces from reputable sources. This is why it is important to develop a reputation and buzz online.
The Chinese financial sector is a fascinating area for growth and investment with huge developments continuing to transform it’s nature in an increasingly open minded, international modern China. It’s certainly a marketplace to keep a close eye on.
We are specialist digital marketing agency with connections in the finance industry in China. If you have a project in mind don’t hesitate to contact us for an in-depth discussion, case studies, or a quotation.