An index measuring Internet finance development is released at a press conference in Beijing, Dec. 20, 2015. (Photo/Chinanews.com)
(ECNS) -- Internet finance industries in Shanghai, Beijing and Zhejiang saw the highest levels of growth in China from January 2014 to September 2015, according to a new index measuring the growth of Internet finance in the country.
The index, the first of its kind in China and released by the prestigious Peking University on Sunday, shows China's Internet finance growth index reached 316.3 in September, 3.2 times the base index of January 2014, meaning the industry grew an average 5.9 percent month on month during the period.
Seven municipalities and provinces – Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian and Tianjin – saw higher indices than the remaining 24 provinces and cities.
Internet finance businesses grew rapidly during the period, said a source at Peking University. Online payment and online money funds saw the most mature development, with indices hitting 183.1 and 185.9 respectively in September, while the emerging online insurance business, along with the online investments and wealth management sector, became the new forces driving the industry's growth, with indices of 312 and 366.3 respectively.
Online investments and wealth management grew the fastest in 2014. However, the sector saw a slowdown from March to September this year, and the index even fell in September.
Peking University also said that post-80s and post-90s born people were the main driving forces behind the growth of all Internet finance businesses.
Li Qiang, the head of Peking University's Internet finance research center, said the indices are an important reference for decision makers in both government and business, as well as individual investors.