Innovation Lures Financial Bigwigs To Qianhai 

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 22 September 2022

Over the past 12 years, a total of 725 innovations in the sectors of investment, trade, finance and rule of law have been rolled out in the area.

Since the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen was formed in 2010, it has always been deeply rooted in innovation. Over the past 12 years, a total of 725 innovations in the sectors of investment, trade, finance and rule of law have been rolled out in the area, making Qianhai a “herald” of innovation among all free trade zones and areas in China.

In the field of finance, one of Qianhai’s four pillar industries, many innovative efforts have been made to allure financial bigwigs to conduct business in or even relocate their headquarters to the area.

Last year, eight bank outlets in Qianhai became the first batch of banks to pilot the business of integrating domestic and foreign currency bank accounts. In the same year, Qianhai was chosen as one of the first batch of places to pilot the country’s integrated capital pool of domestic and foreign currencies for multinational companies. In addition, the area also handled the first transaction under the Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect (WMC) Pilot Scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) through China Merchants Bank.

Last November, Qianhai unveiled its plan to build its Guiwan and Qianwan areas into the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Financial City, which aims to build Qianhai into a pilot demonstration window for the opening up of China’s financial industry, a pilot innovation zone for cross-border RMB business, and a pilot zone for financial innovation supervision. At the financial city’s launch ceremony, 13 major financial institutions showed their willingness to move in through signing cooperation agreements. One month later, Hang Seng Qianhai Fund Management officially relocated its office to the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Financial City, thus becoming the first Hong Kong-funded financial headquarters to settle in the financial city.

According to Liu Yu, general manager of Hang Seng Qianhai Fund Management, the company values the platform’s advantages in terms of location, industrial agglomeration and quality services. “After relocating to the financial city, our business went smoother. The continuous opening up of Qianhai’s financial sector and the issuance of various supportive policies also allowed us to make bolder attempts and innovations on cross-border financial businesses,” he said.

So far, over 200 financial institutions have moved into the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Financial City, among which, about 30% are Hong Kong and foreign-funded institutions. “The gathering of our peers in here has made the communication and the exchange and sharing of resources between us more convenient, and has played a positive role in promoting the development and innovation of our business, as well as strengthening the cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong,” Liu said.

Hong Kong’s Dah Sing Bank, the first overseas bank that has obtained both a branch bank license and a subsidiary bank license on the Chinese mainland, announced in July that it will set up its Shenzhen branch in Qianhai that is directly subordinate to its Hong Kong headquarters. Statistics show that Dah Sing Bank established its mainland office in Shenzhen as early as 1993 and has been tapping the GBA market.

According to the official plans, Qianhai will continue to establish a financial system that is in line with international rules and norms and build Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Financial City as the “first choice” for Hong Kong’s financial industry to expand into the mainland market.