Chinese tech giant secures virtual banking license with Baker McKenzie’s help

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Baker McKenzie helped Tencent Holdings secure a virtual banking license in Hong Kong.

The global law firm advised the Chinese tech giant on the formation of the Infinium joint venture and the subsequent application for a virtual banking license that was approved by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on 9 May.

Infinium members include the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia), Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, Hillhouse Capital, and Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng.

The firm fielded a cross-practice team of legal experts to work on the deal. Its financial services regulatory team, which advised on the license application, was led by Karen Man, global head of the financial services regulatory practice, and Andrew Lockhart. Both partners are based in Hong Kong. They were supported by Hong Kong-based special counsels Frank Meier and Grace Fung.

Baker McKenzie’s corporate and commercial team, which advised on the establishment of the joint venture, was headed by Grace Tso, an M&A partner based in Hong Kong. She was supported by M&A partner Tracy Wut and M&A associate Cynthia Or, who are also based in Hong Kong.

“This transaction places Tencent at the forefront of the growing trend where Hong Kong traditional banking starts to move digital. We are truly excited to be part of this transformation in the Hong Kong banking industry. Advising on this transaction allows us to leverage on our extensive industry experience in financial services in the Fintech space,” Man said. 

King & Wood Mallesons recently advised ZhongAn Virtual Finance on its successful application for a virtual banking license. Clifford Chance advised the Livi VB on its license application, which was granted last month.