Ant, Vanguard-Backed Robo Adviser Hits 1 Million Users in China

The robo-adviser service backed by Vanguard Group Inc. and Ant Group Co. has reached one million users, hitting a key milestone as the U.S. mutual fund giant bets its success in China on the joint venture.

BangNiTou, which means “help you invest,” has become the most popular fund investment advisory service in China based on user number, the company said. Its 800 yuan ($123) minimum investment requirement helped attract user interest since it started in April last year.

Vanguard announced this month that it would give up its stand-alone fund strategy, shifting resources to the joint venture for a bigger slice of China’s $3.2 trillion mutual fund sector. BangNiTou recommends a portfolio selected from 6,000 mutual funds, after assessing the user’s risk appetite and investment horizon.

China’s robo-ad­vi­sory market is expected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2027, according to Research and Markets. Traditional financial institutions and a slew of fintech startups are gearing up to grab market share, including state-backed giants such as Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

Assets under management for BangNiTou jumped 60% to 6.9 billion yuan as the end of February from the end of last year, a person familiar with the matter has said.

“China’s robo-advisory industry is still at an early stage. However, there is significant potential for rapid growth,” said Huang Hao, president of Ant’s digital finance business group.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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