What happened: Tencent Financial Academy, a subsidiary of Chinese internet giant Tencent, has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the University of Hong Kong to collaborate on fintech research and development projects. The fintech and blockchain lab within the university’s computer science department will work with Tencent on joint fintech-related research projects. The university will offer a fintech course in its bachelor program this September, with plans to offer internship opportunities to students as well as organize workshops and guest lectures.
Why it’s important: China’s fintech scene is an increasingly competitive with tech behemoths like Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Ping An Group’s Ping An Technology eager to establish their reign. As the operator of one of China’s largest payment platforms, WeChat Pay, Tencent has gained technological expertise in fintech and payment systems, and is seeking a competitive edge over its peers. Established in June, Tencent Financial Academy has largely been focusing on technological research and development (R & D) in Hong Kong, the region’s fintech and blockchain hub. In January, Tencent entered a partnership with Hong Kong Science and Technology Park with the aim to accelerate fintech R & D in the region.