(CBN Global) March 25 -- Zhima Credit, an Ant Financial Services Group unit, said it is bringing out a product with China Telecom Corp. that takes China's second, and only private, personal credit rating system live.
Customers of Shenzhen Telecom, a regional carrier of China Telecom, who have a Zhima credit scores of more than 650 are being offered deeper discounts and lower prices when buying call plans and mobile phones. Zhima Credit also plans to partner with Guangzhou Telecom, expand into at least 10 regions this year, and cooperate with China Mobile Corp. and China Unicom Ltd.
The link up with China Telecom suggests that Ant Financial's parent company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] is prepared to commercialize the credit data to increase its scope of application, according to a CBN analyst. Despite extensive financial and data resources, Ant Financial has been weak at developing products. It has yet to come up with a decent financial product and its wealth management department head has been replaced several times.
Zhima Credit is a user data-based online credit rating system. It generates scores based on consumer and small business behavior on Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall retail websites. The government operates China's only other personal credit rating system. Alibaba, China's e-commerce giant, is one of few companies that can potentially collect vast amounts of data and commercialize it.