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Want to be a part of China’s fintech revolution? Here’s how to do it

SOURCE: Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP
Chinese tourists walk past a QR code for Chinese digital wallets displayed on a street in Kathmandu on May 21, 2019. Source: Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP


By Sharuna 

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China has undergone an impressive economic transformation over the past decade, especially in the fintech sector.  Although the current economic situation is unstable in the country – as well as the rest of the world – the fintech industry continues to thrive.

As fintech companies can work remotely, they are better insulated from the harsh economic impact brought on by COVID-19.

As Henry M. Paulson, JR,  Chair of the Paulson Institute who previously served as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in 2006 to 2009, wrote on Foreign Affairs, “Many who return from China breathlessly remark on how cashless the country has become. From buying snacks at the corner store to giving money to panhandlers, everything is now conducted through smartphones and QR codes (scannable square-shaped barcodes). ATM lines are a fixture of the past. Chinese companies are increasingly competitive in fintech, and Chinese consumers are its largest users.”

China has emerged a world leader in fintech, and it’s been reported that digital payments in the country are projected to grow by 17 percent each year, while the advanced fintech market was worth  $25.5 billion in 2018.

According to BusinessBecause, China’s fintech sector is also booming because of the nation’s push towards internationalisation.

Between 2002 and 2011 alone, Chinese banks completed 38 mergers and acquisitions deals abroad, while Bank of China – one of the country’s ‘Big Four’ banks –  currently operates in 57 countries.

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Interested in pivoting your career and working in the booming fintech sector in China? It is a competitive market so you’ll need to have the right skills to get your foot in the door.

Fintech is an emerging field that requires you to learn and be comfortable with new technologies like big data, Artificial Intelligence and information security.

A postgraduate programme in business such as the MBA can open the door to exciting opportunities in the world of fintech in China while helping you upskill in fintech.

If you’re able to work there for a few years, you’ll gain valuable work experience that will also give you excellent career prospects if you choose to return home where you could even start your own fintech startup.

China is slowly opening its doors for international students as it recovers from the pandemic, and you can also start by taking online classes and continuing your studies in China next year.

The advantage of studying for your MBA in China is that you’ll be able to gain hands-on learning through experiential learning opportunities, internships, and real-world projects.

At top business schools in China, MBA students have the opportunity to connect with local fintech firms through business practicum projects, where they can tackle business cases proposed by real companies and work with them directly.  This enables them to gain the skills and knowledge needed in dynamic roles in the fintech industry.

You’ll also develop connections with local companies and alumni through networking activities and talks organised by business schools that can help you land a job or business opportunity later on. Since it’s an emerging sector, there are plenty of job opportunities in fintech in China.

Worried about not speaking the language? While it is recommended to study Mandarin so that you can better integrate into the culture, several MBA programmes are offered in English at top business schools in China.

If you’re keen to do so, you can also learn Mandarin through intensive programmes offered by universities specifically for international students. While it can be a different language to master, you’ll be able to practice your linguistic skills with the locals while studying in China.

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