Ripple Eyes Expansion in China, Executive Says

Ripple wants to enter the Chinese market in order to provide a faster international payment system.

Ripple is looking at the Chinese market, as a potential target for further expansion. The company wants to spread its distributed ledger technology (DLT) to increase the speed of international transfers, Jeremy Light, Ripple’s vice president of EU strategic accounts, told CNBC on August 15.

"China is definitely a country and region of interest," Light said.

Ripple differs from other projects as it aims to serve as a payment processing system, which may even work without the XRP token. In fact, the company wants a clear the two brands (Ripple and XRP) to be strictly distinct.

The firm has already partnered with quite a few banks and other payment institutions across the world. The list has grown over 100 and includes Santander, UBS, UniCredit, Standard Chartered, American Express among others. The company also has a few Asia-specific deals, the most notable of which is the partnership with a Japanese consortium, featuring 61 banks for the creation of a new smartphone app.

However, getting into the Chinese market would be a challenge. Tencent, the company behind WeChat (among many others), a leading communication and payment system in the country, is working together with the Shenzhen tax authorities. They even recently demonstrated the new blockchain based payment system, which features automatic company reimbursements.

While Ripple is mostly looking to facilitate international transfers with its platform, this is also a field explored by some established Chinese players. Ant Financial, a fintech subsidiary of Alibabla launched a money remittance service for transfers between Hong Kong and the Philippines, which is also built on a distributed ledger foundation.