(Yicai Global) May 14 -- Midea Group is in negotiations with Taipei-based Bank SinoPac and others about setting up a consumer finance firm, following in the footsteps of rival electrical appliances giant Haier.
Foshan-based Midea is likely to be the new unit's main shareholder, 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday after verifying the matter, saying the tie-up is in the initial stage and has not been finalized.
Midea Finance was reported to have posted a job vacancy advert for a consumer finance deputy general manager on a careers website in May last year. Part of the role involved creating and implementing development strategies for a future consumer finance business.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission signed off on Qingdao-based Haier Group's Haier Consumer Finance in December 2014. It was the first such firm set up by a Chinese white goods producer. Dong Mingzhu, the chairwoman and president of Zhuhai-based Gree Electric Appliances, has said a number of times publicly that her company will not be moving into the financial services sector.
Midea Group formed Midea Finance in 2015, according to its website. A year later, it set up businesses covering commercial factoring, asset management, funds, consumer finance, financial leasing, internet finance and credit consulting. Midea Finance relies on the group's business ecosystem to provide financing, wealth management, Midea Pay and other financial services to its industry chain users.
The CSRC approved Xiamen-based Jinmeixin Consumer Finance in April last year after rules governing financial market access were eased. Its shareholders are CTBC Bank, Jinyuan Holding Group and Gome Holdings Group, making it the first joint consumer finance firm between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland when it opened in October.