WeChat is developing a banker-friendly messaging

Tencent-backed WeChat is in talks about developing a messaging service aimed at allowing international bankers to discuss bond trades with China-based bankers without breaching compliance rules that were implemented in the wake a series of high-profile rate-rigging scandals. Many bankers in China trade bonds in WeChat message groups, where they agree on prices before executing trades and then registering them with the Chinese central bank’s trading system, according to people briefed on the process. But international bankers are unable to participate because of strict internal compliance systems that bar such opaque and unregulated trading… It is not clear whether WeChat would create a new version of its messaging service, or adapt its existing WeChat enterprise messaging scheme, which is aimed at the workplace… Mobile messaging services such as WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, and WeChat are encrypted so that the conversations remain private — hampering efforts by banks’ compliance teams to monitor traders… International banks clamped down on traders’ use of chat rooms after a series of high-profile scandals following the financial crisis, where bankers infamously used online chat sites to manipulate financial markets… In Hong Kong, regulators are beginning to restrict the use of messaging services for trading. 
 
Emma Dunkley and Yuan Yang

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