(Yicai Global) June 5 -- Tencent Holdings' fund sales agency has penned deals with several fund operators and is expanding its financial team as it looks to break into the financial market and take on arch-rival Alibaba Group Holding in yet another sector.
Tengan Funds Sales signed agreements with Harvest Fund Management, E Fund Management and Fullgoal Fund Management, among others, online financial portal China Fund News reported. The deals will allow the Shenzhen-based firm to offer around 1,000 products from the top 30 fund operators in China, according to an insider at one such provider.
The Shenzhen office of the China Securities Regulatory Commission granted a fund-selling license to Tengan in January, allowing it to tap the one billion monthly active users on China's biggest social platform, Tencent-owned WeChat.
The break into fund sales will create yet another area in which Tencent is going toe-to-toe with rival tech behemoth Alibaba. The latter's affiliate Ant Financial is one of China's top fintech firms and boasted 180 million registered users as of the end of last year. WeChat's wealth management service had 140 million at the same time.
China's two largest tech firms by market cap have been repeatedly squaring up in China's burgeoning New Retail sector, which merges online and offline consumption, making turn-by-turn investments in a host of unicorns and emerging startups. Alibaba most recently took a circa 10-percent stake in China's largest online parenting community Babytree, while Tencent last week led B-round financing at NextTao Information Technology, which helps traditional retailers make their mark online.
Editor: James Boynton