Digital financing for supply chains is helping increase cash flow and liquidity for small companies, said Jia Qiuzhen, chairperson of Beijing TrueGo Technology. 

The basic idea of supply chain finance is that suppliers sell their "receivables" to banks or other financial service providers. In return, the suppliers get faster access to the money they are owed, enabling them to use it for working capital, while buyers generally get more time to pay. 

In 2020, the supply chain finance market in China will be worth 27 trillion yuan (about 3.9 trillion U.S. dollars), Jia estimates, considering it as a blue ocean market.  

"Only 15 percent of this market is served by digital finance, which means most of the supply chain financing activities are still inefficient. So it's a blue ocean market and digital financing can help industries discover more meaningful data for their businesses," Jia forecasted. 

Jia Qiuzhen (L), chairperson of Beijing TrueGo Technology speaks with CGTN's Cheng Lei. /CGTN Photo

Big companies are core parts of supply chain finance, Jia says, adding that technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) come into play in the area. 

"They (which refers to big companies) have demand to digitalize their payable assets. That is where we use blockchain technology to help. We use AI to help lenders improve their loan models, to make their modelling more precise and correct," she explained. 

Meanwhile, small companies in the country are harder to get financing than big companies, mainly because that China's supply chain is closely linked to its trade structure – where big companies usually play core roles, Jia observes. 

"Due to these stated owned enterprises' common practices in terms of payment period, a lot of smaller companies that work with them have big piles of delayed receivables," she further elaborated. 

And she cites that digital finance also works for China’s small and private companies, which are vital for China’s economic growth but sometimes struggle to get funding.  

The chairperson highlights the role of tech firms in digital finance. From her perspective, tech companies have “unique strengths in replacing banks to connect lenders and borrowers.” 

Jia Qiuzhen, chairperson of Beijing TrueGo Technology. /CGTN Photo

"Banks are more comfortable with contracts, papers and receipts to analyze borrowers' asset structure. But only with those files, it's hard to measure the health of a company's data assets, which are now the majority of its financial strength. Tech firms have the know-how to analyze data assets of borrowers to facilitate lending," Jia said. 

Thanks to its collaboration with China’s internet giant Tencent, TrueGo Technology is able to bring more of services to help companies get funds. And the chairperson said the company hopes to cover all industries, "acting as a financial intermediary." 

"We used to use digital financing for healthcare companies. Now we want to cover all industries, acting as a financial intermediary. With technology, we can help any industry. That's why we are working with Tencent to utilize assets, capital, credit and technology to make industries more integrated," Jia told CGTN. 



CGTN | TrueGo chairperson: Digital finance helps quench funding thirst in China

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