Chinese People’s Assets Management Style Changes as More People Buy Financial Products: Report

The People’s Bank of China

More Chinese people are buying financial and investment products and the proportion of adults using electronic payments is increasing, a report showed on Thursday.

In 2019, 48.76% of adults in China had purchased investment and wealth management products, 0.95% higher than the same period last year, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) report showed.

Last month, a report by the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance and Alipay showed that nearly 40% of internet users had the habit of allocating their assets into three areas: short-term expenses, insurance protection and investment appreciation.

The report also said that 700 million people have used Alipay for financial management and among them, people hold funds for an average of 337 days, and are developing the habit of long-term investment.

Zhang Lin, a Beijing-based independent economy commentator, said that young people are more dependent on the internet, especially on social and shopping platforms, so it is natural to manage their finances through online financial platforms.

“With China’s development in the past two decades, which is an economy driven by debt finance, the market has taught the younger generation to rely on money and assets to make money,” Zhang said. “And the internet provides a convenient channel.”

Fu Daqin, a 23-year-old young graduate based in the southern city of Changsha, said he agreed with Zhang’s comments. He started buying wealth management products such as funds and fixed investments a year ago.

“It is necessary to manage money because a salary alone cannot make more money,” Fu said. “I must invest my wages in financial management to have a high return.”

Li Yimei, the general manager of one of the largest fund management companies, China Asset Management, said that now, more and more Chinese people have the concept of asset allocation. “Young people who have grown up with the internet tend to have more financial awareness than the previous generations.”

The Thursday report also showed that the proportion of adults using electronic payments nationwide was 85.37%, 2.98% higher than the previous year; in rural areas, the proportion of adults using electronic payments was 76.21%, 4.06% higher than the previous year.

“People are becoming more and more accepting of electronic payments, and people increasingly feel the speed, convenience and security of this payment,” said Xi Junyang, a professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

“Now, whether it’s online merchants, banks, or enterprises, a lot of them are promoting electronic payments, and merchants have also done a lot of work.”

Xi also noticed that rural areas have a higher ratio of the increase in electronic payments. “Due to the inconvenience in concept and use, the penetration rate of electronic payments in rural areas was originally relatively low, but seeing the percentage increase rate, the gap in the penetration rate between urban and rural areas is narrowing.”

“As more and more young people adopt payment and consumption behaviors, electronic payments will become more and more popular,” Xi said.

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The report also shows that 40.74% of adults across the country have obtained loans from banks, 0.86% higher than the same period last year. The proportion of adults who obtained loans through platforms other than banks was 24.16%, 1.31% higher than the same period last year.

What’s more, as of the end of 2019, each person had 8.06 bank accounts on average, an increase of 11.63% year-on-year; each person had 6.01 bank cards on average, an increase of 10.48% year-on-year.