China Glossary

Agricultural Bank of China (中国农业银行)

The Agricultural Bank of China is one of China's largest banks and is the third largest bank in the world in terms of Tier 1 capital with total assets worth US$3.57 trillion as of the end of 2019. The bank is also included as a Global Systemically Important Bank (G-SIB) by the Financial Stability Board.

 

Alipay (支付宝)

Alipay is a digital payment platform founded in 2004 by Alibaba Group that was later spun off in 2011. It was originally the predecessor to Ant Financial (now known as Ant Group) and still remains a core component of Ant. Users can pay and transfer money using a QR code, while other newly added functionalities include ordering food deliveries, booking movie tickets and hotels, calling a taxi, renting a power bank, and etc., that has transformed the app into a super app for consumers.

Alibaba Group (阿里巴巴集团)

Alibaba is a technology congmolegate with a focus on e-commerce, retail, delivery, entertainment, health, and cloud computing services. Notable products include Taobao, T-Mall, Youku, Lazada, and Daraz, amongst others. Ant Group, which owns the Alipay platform, was spun off from and is currently affiliated with Alibaba Group.

Ant Group (A股)

Ant Group, formerly known as Ant Financial, is a digital finance tech company affiliated with Alibaba Group. Ant was initially founded as Alipay in 2004, an online payment platform with escrow functionalities. The company was spun off from Alibaba in 2011 and expanded to become a comprehensive platform for consumers to access digital finance services, with a particular focus on providing ease of access to credit as well as a wide range of customized investment and insurance products. Alibaba currently has a 33% equity stake in Ant.

Further information on Ant Group can be found here:

Part 1 - What You Need to Know About History's Biggest IPO

Part 2 - How Big is Small? 7 Mind-Staggering Facts You Need to Know About Ant

Part 3 - Decoding the Success of a Miniscule Behemoth (SMB Credit Edition)

Part 4 - Decoding the Success of a Miniscule Behemoth (Consumer Credit Edition)

Part 5 - Decoding the Success of a Miniscule Behemoth (Investment Markets Edition A)

Part 6 - Decoding the Success of a Miniscule Behemoth (Investment Markets Edition B)

Part 7 - Decoding the Success of a Miniscule Behemoth (Insurance Markets Edition)

What Happened to Ant Group's IPO?

A-Share (A股)

A-Shares are shares of Chinese-incorporated companies that trade on mainland Chinese stock exchanges with RMB as the trading currency.

For more information, please refer here.

Baihang (百行)

An entity set up jointly by the National Internet Finance Association of China and eight private companies with credit scoring functions to foster the sharing of information in order to create a comprehensive and centralized database for individual and corporate credit scores.

The literal translation of Baihang is "a hundred industries", which figuratively means "all industries".

Bank of China (中国银行)

The Bank of China, not to be confused with the People's Bank of China (i.e. the central bank of the People's Republic of China), is one of China's largest banks and is the fourth largest bank in the world in terms of Tier 1 capital with total assets worth US$3.27 trillion as of the end of 2019. The bank is also included as a Global Systemically Important Bank (G-SIB) by the Financial Stability Board.

Belt and Road/One Belt One Road Initiative (一带一路)

The Belt and Road initiative, formerly known as the One Belt One Road initiative, is a global infrastructure development strategy aimed at facilitating trade between China and participating countries. The initiative was announced in 2013 and can be viewed as the development of a modern day Silk Road network.

Bond Connect Program (债券通)

A program for foreign institutional investors to invest in the Chinese fixed income markets via a trading architecture set up in Hong Kong.

For more information, please refer here.

B-Share (B股)

B-Shares are shares of Chinese-incorporated companies that trade on mainland Chinese stock exchanges with US dollars or Hong Kong dollars as the trading currency.

For more information, please refer here.

China Construction Bank (中国建设银行)

China Construction Bank is one of China's largest banks and is the second largest bank in the world in terms of Tier 1 capital with total assets worth US$3.65 trillion as of the end of 2019. The bank is also included as a Global Systemically Important Bank (G-SIB) by the Financial Stability Board.

China Interbank Bond Market (CIBM) Direct Program (银行间债券市场直接入市渠道)

A program for foreign institutional investors to invest in Chinese Treasury bills and bonds via the support of a licensed settlement agent.

For more information, please refer here.

CSOP Asset Management (南方东英)

CSOP was founded in Hong Kong in 2008 as the first offshore asset manager set up by a regulated asset management company in China. The company focuses on providing China-focused investment products, particularly ETFs, to international investors. CSOP was the largest RQFII manager in the world with a quota of RMB46.1 billion in June 2019, until the quota system was removed in September 2019. As of July 2020, CSOP had US$8.2 billion in AUM.

East Money (东方财富网)

East Money Information is an online financial information provider that also operates a platform for investors to buy and sell funds. In 2019, East Money generated RMB658.9 billion in AUM via their platform over 71.8 million mutual fund transactions.

H-Share (H股)

H-Shares are shares of Chinese-incorporated companies that trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

For more information, please refer here.

Huabei (花呗)

A platform from Ant Group that functions like a virtual credit card where consumers can pay in installments for the goods they purchase from Alibaba or from Alipay partners who have chosen to opt in the program.

The name Huabei roughly translates to "let's spend".

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (中国工商银行)

ICBC is a Chinese state-owned commercial bank and is the largest bank in the world in as measured by Tier 1 capital, with US$4.32 trillion in total assets as of December 2019 . The bank is also included as a Global Systemically Important Bank (G-SIB) by the Financial Stability Board.

Jingdong (JD) (京东)

JD is Chinese e-commerce platform that has built its brand value on the basis of being a provider of premium (and at first primarily electronic) goods with good customer service and extremely fast and efficient delivery. JD has a business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce model, and is one of China's two largest B2C e-commerce platforms, with the other being JD's rival T-Mall.

Jiebei (借呗)

Ant Group's platform for individual borrowers to take out small loans. The amount borrowers can loan out depends on their Zhima Credit score. Ant does not use their own balance sheet to originate loans, and the credit balance originated through the Ant platform are either underwritten by partner financial institutions or securitized.

The name Jiebei roughly translates to "let's borrow".

Lingqiantong (零钱通)

Lingqiantong is a feature embedded in the WeChat platform that allows users to earn interest on money deposited in their WeChat accounts or from linked debit cards by investing this money in money market funds, similarly to Ant's Yu'ebao product.

Lufax (陆金所)

Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange (Lufax) is a digital finance platform that allows users to browse for and invest in mutual funds. The company, an affiliate of Ping An Group, originally started as a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform but ultimately transitioned to become a digital investment services provider following the crackdown on P2P lending in China.

MYBank (网商银行)

MYBank is an online, private commercial bank founded in 2015 with Ant Group as a majority shareholder. MYBank was founded to target the lack of credit problem and foster inclusive finance by providing unsecured loans to small- and medium-sized businesses, individual merchants, as well as those living in lower tier cities and rural areas.

National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) (中国互联网金融协会)

An association set up by the People's Bank of China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (the latter two have since merged to become the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission) to supervise the carrying out of the central government's policies on internet finance, to facilitate the communication between members and policymakers, to enhance consumer protection and promote industry standards, to collect, carry out, and disseminate data and industry research to members, regulators, and the public, and to represent China's internet finance industry at the international level.

N-Share (N股)

N-shares refer to shares of non-Chinese incorporated companies established and originated in mainland China that are controlled by mainland Chinese companies or individuals. N-shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.

For more information, please refer here.

P-Chip (P股)

P-chips refer to shares of non-Chinese incorporated companies established and originated in mainland China that are controlled by mainland Chinese companies or individuals. P-chips are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

For more information, please refer here.

People's Insurance Company of China (PICC) (中国人民保险集团)
PICC is a publicly listed Chinese insurer with the Chinese central government as the controlling shareholder. It is one of the largest insurance companies in China.

People's Bank of China (中国人民银行)

The central bank of the People's Republic of China. Not to be confused with Bank of China (中国银行), a large state-owned commercial bank.

Pinduoduo (拼多多)

Pinduoduo is a Chinese e-commerce platform that was originally based on the model of "social buying", where consumers could purchase goods at lower prices if they invited somebody else to buy the items with them. At first, individual consumers could not buy products themselves without a co-purchaser, but the platform has since expanded to allow for purchases by single customers. Pinduoduo primarily targets lower income consumers who place a great significance on value-for-money.

Ping An Group (中国平安)

Officially known as Ping An of China and more commonly known as Ping An Insurance, Ping An of China is a personal financial services provider founded in 1988. The company is China's largest insurer and the second largest insurer in the world with a market cap of US$187.2 billion, second only to Berkshire Hathaway.

Policy Bank (政策性银行)

Policy banks are banks set up by the Chinese government to fulfill economic policies and conduct non-profit businesses. Funding comes from the government or bond offerings, but no retail deposits are used or accepted. Currently, there are two policy banks in China: (1) the Export-Import Bank of China, and (2) the Agricultural Development Bank of China. China Development Bank was a policy bank until 2008, after which the institution became a state-owned commercial bank until 2015, when the bank was reclassified as a Development Financing Institution to support the Belt and Road initiative.

Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor Program (合格境外投资者)

A program for qualified foreign institutional investors to invest in the Chinese stock markets using foreign currency, which has since expanded to include a range of other asset classes.

For more information, please refer here.

Red Chip (红筹股)

Red chips refer to shares of non-Chinese incorporated companies that are substantially owned by mainland China state entitites with the majority of its revenue or assets derived from mainland China.

For more information, please refer here.

Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor Program (人民币合格境外投资者)

A program for qualified foreign institutional investors to invest in the Chinese stock markets using RMB, which has since expanded to include a range of other asset classes.

For more information, please refer here.

S-Chip (S股)

S-chips refer to shares of non-Chinese incorporated companies established and originated in mainland China that are controlled by mainland Chinese companies or individuals. S-chips are traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

For more information, please refer here.

Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (沪港通)

A program for qualified foreign institutional investors and individual investors to invest in the stocks listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange via a trading infrastructure set up in Hong Kong. Mainland Chinese investors can also purchase Hong Kong stocks on this platform.

For more information, please refer here.

Shanghai-London Stock Connect (沪伦通)

A program connecting the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange by allowing eligible companies listed on either of the two stock exchanges to issue, list, and trade depository receipts on the counterpart's stock market in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

For more information, please refer here.

Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect (深港通)

A program for qualified foreign institutional investors and individual investors to invest in the stocks listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange via a trading infrastructure set up in Hong Kong. Mainland Chinese investors can also purchase Hong Kong stocks on this platform.

For more information, please refer here.

Singles' Day (双11/光棍节)

A Chinese version of America's Cyber Monday where online retailers have promotions and sales on November 11th. This date is named "Singles' Day" because the numeral 1 represents a bare stick, i.e. 光棍 - an internet slang for single men and women who do not add branches to the family tree. Singles' Day is the largest shopping event in the world and was founded by Alibaba Group.

For 2020 statistics, please refer here.

Snowball Finance (雪球财经)

An online financial information platform where investors can post and share their ideas or individual portfolio performance, in addition to purchasing stocks or funds through the company's brokerage app.

Taobao (淘宝)

Taobao is an e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba Group, where individuals sell goods to consumers (i.e. the individual-to-consumer e-commerce model), as opposed to T-Mall, an e-commerce platform also owned by Alibaba Group, where merchants can sell goods to consumers (i.e. the business-to-consumer e-commerce model). Taobao and T-Mall combined represent the world's largest e-commerce platform.

Tianhong Asset Management (天弘基金)

A Chinese asset manager majority owned by Ant Group. Tianhong AM launched Yu'ebao jointly with Alipay (which later became Ant) in 2013, and was the first Chinese fund manager to have an AUM greater than RMB1 trillion. Tianhong AM is the largest fund manager in China.

Tencent Holdings (腾讯)

Tencent is a technology conglomerate that is also one of the largest tech companies in Asia. The company focuses on social media and entertainment, with notable products including WeChat and QQ messenger, in addition to music, video and comic products. Tencent is also the largest video game vendor in the world, with many internationally renowned games under its umbrella.

T-Mall (天猫)

T-Mall, also known as Taobao-Mall, was split from Taobao in 2011. T-Mall is an e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba Group, where merchants can sell goods to consumers (i.e. the business-to-consumer e-commerce model), as opposed to Taobao, also owned by Alibaba Group, where individuals sell goods to consumers (i.e. the individual-to-consumer e-commerce model). Taobao and T-Mall combined represent the world's largest e-commerce platform.

Trust Company (信托)

In the Chinese context, trust companies are special purpose entities that set up "trusts" to raise funding for specific projects with a limited timespan (e.g. real estate development projects, infrastructure development projects by local governments, CapEx for companies, company mergers and restructurings). The minimum required investment amount to invest in a trust is usually high, so the majority of funding comes from high net worth retail investors and institutional investors. Trusts generally have a lifespan of 18 months to 3 years, during which coupon payments are paid out to investors but no withdrawals are allowed until the completion of the underlying project, after which principal payments are returned.

Since the 2018 banking regulation reforms in China, financial intermediaries were no longer allowed to state that they guarantee a full return of principal. This, combined with historical default rates that could be quite high, led to a decline in popularity of investing in trusts. However, it should be noted that the credit riskiness of trusts can vary significantly depending on the nature of the underlying project and entity(ies) involved.

WeChat (微信)

WeChat is China's most popular messaging app with over one billion monthly active users. It also functions as a super-app with social media, mobile payment (i.e. WeChat Pay), and other functionalities. WeChat is owned by Tencent Holdings.

WeChat Pay (微信支付)

A digital, mobile payment platform operated by Tencent's WeChat.

Yu'ebao (余额宝)

Yu'ebao is a money market fund developed in-house by Ant Group and managed by Tianhong Asset Management, an asset management firm which Ant is a majority shareholder of. Users can deposit money in Yu’ebao and use this to pay for their purchases on Alibaba, while interest is paid out daily and any money deposited in the account can be withdrawn at any time. Yu'ebao was the first MMF to be easily accessible to the public in China, and since 2017 it has become China's largest MMF with over one third of the Chinese population having money invested in the fund. Yu'ebao is also the largest MMF in the world.

The name Yu'ebao roughly translates to "leftover treasure".

For more information, please refer here.

Zhima Credit (芝麻信用)

Zhima Credit is a credit scoring system launched by Ant Group in 2015 that has since become the de facto credit scoring system in China. The Chinese government does have an official “credibility blacklist” for those who have failed to fulfill their financial obligations or are guilty of financial misconduct, but there was no official, easily accessible or widely used credit scoring system in place. Zhima Credit collects information from users of Alibaba, Ant’s CreditTech platform as well as the Chinese government’s credibility blacklist to generate credit scores for individuals and companies.

The name Zhima Credit translates to "sesame credit".

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