A global trade war isn’t the only problem hanging over China’s economy. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which account for 60% of China’s GDP and 80% of jobs, are having a hard time accessing financing, which could slow economic growth. There’s an upside for financial firms willing to fill that credit void, according to CreditEase CEO Ning Tang.
“We’ve captured a big opportunity in China, [and that is] access to credit…China hasn’t built a robust credit bureau system,” Tang tells Fortune.
CreditEase is a global fintech conglomerate based in China that provides lending solutions, among other services, to businesses. With such scale, CreditEase has an important social responsibility, according to Tang, and that’s to provide financial services to underserved populations.
“With China’s rural small businesses, we’re very local and very hands-on, and we also serve China’s high-net-worth investors with global asset allocation,” Tang says. Bringing SMEs into the fold will help the company achieve commercial success over the long term, he adds.
The Chinese government wants to boost access and availability of credit in order to stabilize economic growth, so it helps that financial firms can realize a social and business benefit when catering to SMEs. “Such efforts are in our intrinsic business model…all of our corporate social responsibility work isn’t an expense item, it’s actually an investment,” Tang says.
Watch the video above for more from Fortune’s interview with Tang.