China's Suning gains regulator approval to provide fund payment service

HONG KONG Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:37am EDT

HONG KONG Oct 11 (Reuters) - Home appliance retailer Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd on Friday said the China Securities Regulatory Commission has given the go-ahead for its subsidiary to provide payment and settlement services for online mutual fund sales.

Suning, in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, said it is still awaiting approval to operate a mutual fund e-commerce platform.

Suning, like other home appliance retailers, has been forced to rethink its business model and expand into areas such as e-commerce to chase a growing number of internet shoppers.

Suning, which competes with GOME Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd backed by U.S. asset manager Bain Capital, in August said it aimed to set up a private bank after the government said it would promote the establishment of more financial institutions to support cash-starved small companies.

Dominant e-commerce player Alibaba Group has been leading a drive by internet companies into highly regulated financial services, and earlier this week an online payment affiliate said it would take control of Tianhong Asset Management Co.

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