Electronics retail giant Suning aims to enter the e-finance arena after the wild success of Alibaba’s Yu E Bao service

08.08.2013 16:31

Suning Plans to Offer Money Market Funds to Online Shoppers

Retail giant aims to enter the e-finance arena after the wild success of Alibaba’s Yu E Bao service

By intern reporter Li Huiling

(Beijing) – The e-commerce platform of retail giant Suning Commerce Group Co. Ltd. said it will soon add a service to its payment system that allows shoppers to buy money market funds online. This follows Alibaba launching Yu E Bao, which lets users invest in money market funds offered by Tian Hong Asset Management Co. through their payment accounts with Alibaba. Suning’s Yi Fu Bao payment system could offer users more choice because it will provide access to more funds from different companies, said Min Juanqing, executive deputy director of Suning’s marketing department. More importantly, she said, the service will be available to both individuals and companies. Suning may also promote the online investment service in its brick-and-mortar stores.The service is not part of any greater agenda for Suning to break into the finance world, Min wrote in her Sina Weibo account. Rather, the product was developed to improve user loyalty to Suning’s online ecosystem.

A source in the company said Suning had set up a task force to prepare for the service and had been in talks with more than 10 large fund management companies about cooperation.

Yi Fu Bao is run by a Suning subsidiary licensed by the central bank in July last year to operate third-party payment businesses. It still needs approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to handle the payment and settlement of securities funds transactions. The securities regulator is reviewing the company’s applications, sources close to the matter say.

Suning now has more than 20 million registered users. Not all of them use Yi Fu Bao.

The company aims to significantly expand the scope of bank cards Yi Fu Bao will support. Currently, users can only charge their Yi Fu Bao account using debit cards from 11 banks and credit cards from nine banks. Lin Kairong, a Suning executive, said credit cards from another 11 banks will be accepted soon.

Suning’s semi-annual report shows its sales revenue from January to June totaled 10.6 billion yuan, up 101 percent from the first half of last year.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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