The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) – the largest bank in the world by market capitalisation and total assets – has signed a deal with web services provider Baidu to access its mapping services and global positioning technology. This will help it continue growing as is searches for optimal positioning of new branches.
A Comprehensive Deal Emerges
The deal includes opportunities for the ICBC Bank’s financial services department to use Baidu’s lifestyle, internet finance and internet marketing platforms, and challenge competition from USA firms gradually shoehorning their way into Chinese markets.
Baidu – ICBC Bank Deal Mutually Beneficial
Market analysts agree the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has a large-enough customer base and sufficient capital to drive its expansion plan. Moreover Baidu will benefit from the income spinoff and the favourable publicity this brings its international business finance offerings.
The financial sector is becoming the preferred route for internet service companies wishing to leverage growth. We want to work in the medical and lifestyle wedges with ICBC Bank, Baidu CEO Zhang Yaqin confirmed when commenting on the deal.
Baidu Seeks to Become Banks’ Favourite
The ICBC Bank deal is the next step in a program to work together with banks. Baidu is already collaborating with Fuzhou-based Industrial Bank, and facilitating credit checking at the People’s Bank of China. Other financial services clients include Bank of China and CITIC Bank. It is also assisting Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management process study loans and finance small and medium enterprises in Beijing.
Impressive ICBC Bank Trajectory
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China launched a limited company in 1984. By March 2014 the assets of the giant brand were US$3.32 trillion. This makes ICBC Bank the largest of China’s ‘big’ four state banks alongside Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, and China Construction Bank.