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Chinese tech giants use Singapore as catapult into SE Asia

Lured by prospect of $300 billion digital economy, they also escape competition at home

Chinese fintech companies are interested in the new licenses because of potential business growth in Southeast Asia. (Nikkei Montage) 

SINGAPORE -- Chinese fintech companies, hoping to diversify from increasingly stiff competition at home, are aggressively seeking to expand in Southeast Asia, where the digital economy is expected to triple in size to $300 billion over the next five years.

Following in the footsteps of e-commerce giants such as Alibaba Group Holding, Chinese fintech companies -- with their established prowess in digital payments -- are leading the charge, often using Singapore as their jumping-off base into the region. Malaysia for some is a likely next step.

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