金融科技出海,暗流涌动的危机

发布时间: 2023-12-05 17:28

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The development of financial technology (fintech) remains extremely imbalanced globally. While 89% of users own mobile phones, 44% have never adopted e-payment methods. This reveals a massive unmet demand for financial services and corresponding business opportunities for fintech firms worldwide.

金融科技(fintech)的发展在全球范围内仍然非常不平衡。虽然89%的用户拥有手机,但44%的用户从未采用过电子支付方式。这揭示了全球金融科技公司对金融服务的巨大未满足需求和相应的商业机会。

Specifically, 1.5 billion adults globally still lack bank accounts. Among the 2.8 billion account holders, a considerable number battle insufficient balances and lack access to credit cards. Developing countries in regions like Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa lag behind in building both the mobile internet infrastructure and e-commerce platforms that could help address such needs.

具体来说,全球15亿成年人仍然缺乏银行账户。在28亿账户持有者中,相当多的人面临余额不足和无法获得信用卡的问题。东南亚、拉美和非洲等地区的发展中国家在建设移动互联网基础设施和电子商务平台方面落后,这有助于满足这些需求。

Over the past decade, China’s fintech sector has made remarkable strides, accumulating experience and capabilities that could aid development overseas. But exporting any domestic success formula without considering local conditions often proves ill-suited. Each market comes embedded with its own unique risks and challenges.

在过去的十年中,中国的金融科技行业取得了显著的进展,积累了经验和能力,可以帮助海外发展。但是,在不考虑当地条件的情况下,直接输出国内成功的公式,往往被证明是不合适的。每个市场都有其独特的风险和挑战。

Expanding overseas is by no means smooth sailing for financial technology companies. To gain a foothold in foreign markets, companies need to strategize carefully, with particular attention to the following six areas:

金融科技公司的海外扩张绝非一帆风顺。为了在国外市场站稳脚跟,公司需要仔细制定战略,特别关注以下六个领域:

Infrastructure constraints

Chinese financial companies venturing overseas face many infrastructure hurdles. Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and many other regions lack database capabilities. Local regulations often require financial institutions to build their user identification systems, either by seeking third-party providers or by building such capabilities in-house. This means substantial upfront investment is needed even as the first step towards going global.

基础设施限制

中国金融公司在出海方面,面临许多基础设施障碍。东南亚、拉美、非洲和许多其他地区,其实是缺乏数据库能力的。当地法规通常要求金融机构通过寻找第三方提供商,或在内部构建此类能力,来构建其用户识别系统。这意味着,即使是第一个吃螃蟹的人,也需要大量的前期投资。

Regulatory risks

While respecting local regulations is a must in any market, countries differ greatly in regulatory standards, ranging from lax to overly strict due to ambiguous rules. For overseas companies, the soundness of the regulatory environment cuts both ways. Some markets have financial technology regulations still in flux, allowing certain companies to take advantage of regulatory arbitrage opportunities at the perpetual risk of seeing those gains wiped out by sudden policy changes. Companies should opt for markets with stringent regulations and clear rules to protect their long-term, healthy development.

监管风险

在任何市场中,尊重当地法规是必须的,但由于规则模糊,各国的监管标准差异很大,从宽松到过于严格不等。对于海外公司来说,监管环境的健全性是双向的。一些市场的金融技术监管仍在不断变化,这使得某些公司可以利用监管套利机会,但这些收益可能会被突然的政策变化抹去。公司应选择具有严格监管和明确规则的市场,以保护其长期健康发展。

 

Religious and cultural risks

When operating in countries with diverse religious and cultural traditions, financial technology firms should pay close attention to compliance risks related to local religious beliefs and cultural norms. For instance, Islamic law prohibits interest, so product design needs to work around this restriction.

宗教和文化风险

在有着不同宗教和文化传统的国家运营时,金融科技公司应密切关注与当地宗教信仰和文化规范相关的合规风险。例如,伊斯兰教法禁止利息,因此一些产品设计,可能需要绕过这一限制。

 

Geopolitical risks

Some countries have volatile political environments where power changes hands swiftly, causing investment to collapse repeatedly.The geostrategic rivalry between China and India is a typical case. The enormous Indian market has proven to be a graveyard for Chinese fintech firms, due in large part to geopolitical factors. With China-U.S. tensions, more countries are likely to come under pressure in their political alignments going forward. Companies need to stay keenly aware of such undercurrents and be prepared with contingency plans.

地缘政治风险

一些国家的政治环境不稳定,权力易手,导致投资一再崩溃。中印之间的地缘战略竞争,就是一个典型案例。巨大的印度市场已被证明是中国金融科技公司的墓地,这在很大程度上是由于地缘政治因素造成的。随着中美紧张局势的加剧,更多的国家可能会在未来的政治联盟中面临压力。公司要对这种潜流保持敏锐的意识,并准备好应急计划。

Legal risks

When going abroad, financial technology companies need to watch out for the extra-territorial reach of foreign jurisdictions. For instance, even if their operations are not based in the United States, simply having some nominal exposure there means they could still be subject to the long-arm jurisdiction of the U.S. Cutting off access to international payment and funding channels is the most potent weapon for U.S. sanctions.

法律风险

在走向海外时,金融科技公司需要注意外国司法管辖区的治外法权。例如,即使他们的业务不在美国,仅仅在那里有一些名义上的风险敞口就意味着他们仍然可能受到美国的长臂管辖。切断国际支付和融资渠道是美国制裁的最有力武器。

 

Tax risks

Proper tax planning greatly impacts profitability, but many overseas ventures fail to consider corporate structure design from a tax perspective. Once profitable, tax issues can blindside them. For example, a Chinese parent company owning a foreign fintech firm that generates revenue in neighboring countries without a physical presence runs regulatory risks akin to “naked exposure," since taxes follow income source rather than corporate domicile. Separating domestic cost centers from foreign profit centers does not shield companies from tax authorities either.

税务风险

适当的税务规划极大地影响了盈利能力,但许多海外企业未能从税务角度考虑企业结构设计。一旦盈利,税务问题可能会让他们措手不及。例如,一家中国母公司拥有一家外国金融科技公司,在邻国产生收入,但没有实体存在,面临着类似于“裸露风险”的监管风险,因为税收遵循收入来源而不是公司所在地。将国内成本中心与外国利润中心分开也不能保护公司免受税务机关的影响。

Financial technology presents immense potential for advancing fintech globally. Yet the path remains strewn with risks for Chinese companies seeking to harness opportunities overseas. Meticulous planning and mitigation around local infrastructural realities, ever-shifting regulations and policies, diverse cultural sensibilities and geopolitical headwinds constitutes crucial groundwork.The destination promises great rewards, but only for those prepared for the journey.

金融科技为全球推进金融科技提供了巨大的潜力。然而,对于寻求利用海外机遇的中国公司来说,道路仍然充满风险。围绕当地基础设施现实、不断变化的法规和政策、多元文化敏感性和地缘政治阻力的细致规划和缓解构成了至关重要的基础。目的地承诺巨大的回报,但仅限于那些为旅程做好准备的人。

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