Tencent has been granted a licence to sell mutual funds, as it continues expanding its financial services offerings.

Before gaining the licence, the tech giant was only able to act as a platform for fund houses and third-party fund sales companies to sell their products through qian.qq.com, its online wealth managing platform and its popular instant messaging tool, WeChat.

The Shenzhen Bureau of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the nation’s top securities watchdog, has given Tencent subsidiary Tengan Funds Sales (Shenzhen) the licence to sell funds directly.

The new licence will also give Tencent more say on what products are sold on its platforms, and grant users more options to help boost funds sold on WeChat – home to more than 980 million users, analysts said.

Tencent has already teamed up with Howbuy, an online distributor of mutual funds, and a number of fund houses to line up nearly 100 mutual funds products via WeChat.

Users will now avoid having to pay a 0.1 per cent charge on a credit card payment of more than 5,000 yuan (US$770) monthly. Tencent is also offering users cash incentives, capped at 88.88 yuan, for those who use the promotal service until February.

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