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In Hangzhou, good credit brings people deposit-free services

By MA ZHENHUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-18 09:39

Residents with good credit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, will be able to avoid paying deposits for a number of services, including bicycle rentals, and hospital or hotel reservations.

The city launched its Credit Hangzhou app last month, making it easier for people to check their own credit records and search for services they can use deposit-free-if the credit score is high enough.

It also vowed to promote more daily use of the app to make credit ratings a "gold pass" in the city.

An official with the Hangzhou development and reform commission said the city will work with the travel, transportation and lodging sectors to enable those who study, work and travel in the city to avoid paying deposits.

The call also received a warm response from e-commerce giant Alibaba, which is headquartered in Hangzhou. Zhima Credit, its online credit scoring platform, has 7.28 million registered users in the city, with 3.69 million reaching the bench mark for deposit-free services.

That means one-third of Hangzhou residents can now enjoy deposit-free services in such things as bicycle-sharing and hotel accommodations, with 14.3 billion yuan ($2.21 billion) in deposits waived.

"We will continue to work toward popularizing more deposit-free services and applications," said Min Rui, deputy general manager of Zhima Credit. She added that the company aims to help users waive 100 billion yuan in deposits over the next year through business stimulation and product upgrades.

Chen Jun, a professor at Zhejiang University's School of Management, told China Daily that Hangzhou, with its booming internet sector and role as a hub of internet financing and third-party payment firms such as Ant Financial, has unique advantages in fostering such deposit-free services.

To further facilitate the sound development of startup enterprises, the city also vowed to boost business innovation by allowing small and medium-size startups with good credit to rent office space and equipment without paying deposits.

"This is of great significance, since in China difficulties in financing have long been a bottleneck that hinders the healthy development of SMEs. It will be good news for those entrepreneurs with good credit records who have really creative business plans and innovative ideas," Chen said.

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