China's oldest peer-to-peer (P2P) lender plans to raise $200 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in New York in the first half of 2017. Photo: AFP

China’s raging fintech industry, which is leading the global chase for venture capital funding, is on the verge of minting two new billionaires.

Online financial services platform PPDAI Group’s planned IPO in the US this month will see co-founder Shaofeng Gu’s net worth reach at least US$1.3 billion with his 25% stake, according to a Bloomberg report this week.

Owner of a 36% stake in US listed peer-to-peer lender Yirendai, founder and chief executive Ning Tang, is not far behind boasting a net worth of around US$930 million. Three Chinese fintech firms that have gone public this year have raised US$2.45 billion, while PPDAI and online lender Jianpu Technology have filed prospectuses.

In related news, the rapidly growing industry also continues to draw attention from Chinese regulators. An official from the People’s Bank of China said on Monday that fintech companies, especially large ones, should fall under the same risk management framework as banks, according to a report from Caixin.

As part of increased scrutiny of the industry, the central bank announced in August that some fintech firms will be included in its macro-predential assessment.

“The PBOC move […] is actually a good sign for the fintech market because regulation indicates recognition of importance, and MPA, a mid-to long-term regulation framework, indicates that short-term risks are well handled,” Xue Hongyan, director of Suning Financial Research Institute was quoted as saying.