Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were granted approvals to take control of their securities joint ventures in China as policy makers push ahead with the opening of the nation’s $45 trillion finance industry even as they fight to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Even with the massive potential of the Chinese market, foreign firms face a bevy of hurdles to win market share. China is home to the world’s four largest banks by assets, the biggest global fintech company and other formidable competitors. Its tightly-controlled system is opaque and arbitrary when it comes to licenses, and the regulatory burden is heavy. Recruiting talent has already proved tricky with experienced local executives often preferring state-backed companies.