Business / Markets

Big cities rank highest in wealth generation

By MENG JING (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-17 09:24

Residents in first-tier cities appear to have the best investment acumen and knowledge in China, with a considerable number of them managing to realize higher returns from online wealth management products.

Online customers from Shanghai managed to make an average return of 897 yuan ($144.5) from their WMPs between Jan 15, 2014 and Jan 15, 2015, the highest in China, said a report released by Licaitong, the wealth management service of WeChat, on Thursday.

Licaitong, a service that enables WeChat users to buy and sell money market funds using mobile devices and get higher interest rates than typical bank deposits, has more than 10 million users and accumulated deposits of more than 100 billion yuan.

Customers from Beijing were in the second spot with an average return rate of 851 yuan during the same period, followed by online customers from Zhejiang province, Jiangsu province and Guangdong province with average returns ranging between 670 yuan and 620 yuan.

Licaitong, jointly developed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd and several fund companies, has helped users earn returns amounting to more than 3 billion yuan so far. The highest amount earned by a Licaitong user was about 50,000 yuan over the past year.

According to Licaitong, online customers who were born in the 1960s, are the most stable users of WMPs. Despite the fact that they can cash in their wealth management products whenever they want, they prefer to deposit the money for at least 258 days, on average.

On the contrary, users born after 1985 are not that patient. They buy and sell online wealth management products rather frequently, especially when competitors of Licaitong offer similar products with higher interest rates or during major online sales seasons, such as the Nov 11 online shopping festival.

What is worth noticing is that 30 percent of the users tend to buy online wealth management products from bed between 10 pm and midnight. The majority of the "bed time users" are office workers between the ages of 30 and 45, with 61 percent of them being males.

Ma Xiaodong, who is in charge of Licaitong, said that apart from boosting user penetration in first- and second-tier cities, his team is also planning to expand into third-tier and fourth-tier cities, where online wealth management products have great potential.

Ever since Alipay, the e-paymet arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, launched Yu'ebao, the first online wealth management product of its kind that allows people to invest their idle money in higher-interest money market funds, similar products have been offered by Internet companies, fund companies and even traditional banks, after they saw the huge deposits raised by Yu'ebao in a very short period of time.

According to statistics from Rong360, a Beijing-based private lending search service provider, there are 79 products with features similar to Yu'ebao and Licaitong in the market, which attracted total deposits of 1,508.1 billion yuan in the fourth quarter of 2014.

However, Ye Daqing, chief executive officer and co-founder of Rong360, said that with the decreasing annual yield rates of these products, the size of the market is expected to shrink this year.

"These products are called grass-root wealth management products. Users are often sensitive about their returns. With most of banks offering similar products, people will soon shift their investment to products offered by traditional banks unless the products offered by Internet firms can generate more returns," he said.

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