Established in late 2015 as the fintech arm of search giant Baidu, Du Xiaoman Financial provides wealth management and micro-lending services. It has avoided head-to-head competition in digital payments with Ant Group and Tencent, focusing more on consumer credit services in sectors such as medical cosmetics, orthodontics and education. It claims to have offered loans to nearly 10 million small companies, the majority of which have less than five staff.
In 2018 the company was spun off from the search giant in a $1.9 billion transaction that saw Baidu’s stake reduced to 42%, with TPG, Carlyle, Taikang Group and Agricultural Bank of China becoming new investors. Since then Du Xiaoman has expanded into technology-as-a-service, supporting dozens of banks in their digitisation plans, including the adoption of blockchain technologies
Local media reckons that Du Xiaoman could fetch $14-15 billion in valuation should it go public on the Shanghai STAR Market. Some of its most valuable assets are the licences that it has to offer third-party payment services, sell mutual funds, and make micro loans.
Its CEO is Zhu Guang, formerly a senior vice president of Baidu and a Lenovo alumnus.
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