April 29, 2015 / 8:55 AM / 4 years ago

Tencent, Bank of Beijing launch $1.6 bln online banking tie-up

BEIJING, April 29 (Reuters) - Bank of Beijing will extend Tencent Holdings Ltd a 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) credit line, part of a partnership that helps the Chinese Internet firm better compete in online finance with rival Alibaba.

The partnership will focus on the bank’s Jingyitong initiative, which lets users swipe a chip-enabled card at hospitals to obtain medical care and other services, Tencent and Bank of Beijing said on Wednesday.

In January, Tencent began trial operations of its WeBank service to issue loans to individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. The service is endorsed by the Chinese government, which is seeking to gradually open the banking sector dominated by state giants.

The sector is hotly contested by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , which has said it would launch its own internet bank in June. ($1 = 6.2005 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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