Ever since Premier Li Keqiang announced China's "Internet Plus" drive in his annual government work report in March, the country has been making strenuous efforts to integrate the Internet with its traditional industries, which gives rise to the burgeoning growth of Internet finance nationwide.
What does Internet finance refer to? What role can it play in China's overall economic development? What experience can China learn from other countries to ensure the healthy development of its Internet finance sector?
A group of Chinese and foreign experts gathered in Beijing on Saturday to share their insights on these issues at the first international meeting of building an ecosystem for "Internet Finance Plus".
Internet finance and "Internet Finance Plus"
Internet finance is a new business model, allowing traditional financial institutions and Internet enterprises to carry out financial activities with the use of Internet technology, according to the guidelines for Internet finance released by China on July 18.
The new notion of "Internet Finance Plus" raised at Saturday's meeting refers to the integration of Internet finance with other industries, said Lin Yongqing, founder and president of Crowdfund China Society.
Finance takes on the role of serving other industries, and with Internet finance, it is much more convenient for financial enterprises to provide timely help to these industries, Lin explained.
Zhang Xiaochen, co-founder of the society, said the "plus" here is more like a kind of subversion. The "Internet Finance Plus", just like "Internet Plus" which subverts outdated business models by the means of the Internet to promote the upgrading of traditional sectors, aims to overturn traditional financing models.
Niu Huayong, dean of the International Business School of Beijing Foreign Studies University, also gave his interpretation of the "Internet Finance Plus". He compared finance as a blood circulation system, other industry entities organs and the "plus" blood vessels, saying it allows everyone to participate in Internet finance.