On May 3rd, Alipay announced the addition of two new money market funds to Yu’e Bao, the idle funds management platform within the Alipay app with the world’s largest money market fund.
Alipay is operated by Ant Financial Services Group, the payment affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. They are also the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform with over 520 million users as of 2017. Since its inception in 2004, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle platform where users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make doctor’s appointments, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app.
Yu’e Bao is the online spare cash management platform within the Alipay app that is designed to enable users to manage their spare funds. Yu’e Bao (余额宝), a name that literally means “left over treasure” in Chinese, introduced their money market fund in 2013 that became the largest of its kind with more than 400 million users in just five years.
Previously, Yu’e Bao offered only one fund managed by Tianhong Asset Management Co., Ltd. who released it as China’s first-ever internet distributed fund. The popularity of this money market fund caused Tianhong Asset Management to lower Yu’e Bao’s subscription limit three times since 2017 in order to control fund growth and liquidity. It came as no surprise then Alipay is now introducing two new funds to diversify user interest.
The new funds, managed by Bosera Asset Management Co., Ltd and Zhong Ou Asset Management Co., Ltd, respectively, will be integrated into Yu’e Bao alongside the existing Tianhong fund. Starting from May 4, 2018, Yu’e Bao users will have the choice to put their idle cash into any of the three money market funds to generate returns. The subscription for the newly introduced funds will be available on a rolling basis and will not feature a subscription cap to start.
“The addition of these new money market funds to Yu’e Bao is in line with Ant Financial’s commitment to using technology to make financial services more inclusive, and to working closely with traditional financial institutions,” said Guoming Zu, Vice President of Ant Financial’s Wealth Management Business Group.
Bosera Asset Management, founded in 1998, was one of the first five fund management companies established in mainland China. Headquartered in Shenzhen, Bosera is also one of the largest fund houses in China. By the end of 2017, Bosera’s net assets under management totaled around 758 billion yuan ($119.45 billion), and it managed 192 open-end funds.
Zhong Ou Asset Management was established in 2006. The business mainly encompasses mutual funds and providing financial advisory services to both Chinese and global institutional, as well as retail investors. It was awarded one of the highest honors in the Chinese asset management industry, the Golden Bull Fund House by China Securities Journal, for four consecutive years between 2014 and 2017.
Users can continue to access the funds in their Yu’e Bao account to make online and offline purchases. This will continue to be the case whichever of the three Yu’e Bao funds users choose to invest in.
“We look forward to adding other high-quality money market funds to the Yu’e Bao platform, giving users more choice and our partners the opportunity to connect with a much broader user base,” Guoming Zu adds.