Monash teams with Cambridge and Tsinghua universities to study Asia’s alternative finance sector

Monash teams with Cambridge and Tsinghua universities to study Asia’s alternative finance sector

Monash University is collaborating with Cambridge University and China’s Tsinghua University to track the extraordinary growth of the Asia-Pacific’s booming alternative finance sector, valued at more than US$100 billion.

The collaboration will see Monash Business School’s Australian Centre for Financial Studies  partner with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at University of Cambridge Judge Business School, and Tsinghua University Graduate School at Shenzhen to undertake an international benchmarking survey with the support of more than 20 major industry organisations across the region.

This is the largest regional study to date focused on crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other forms of alternative finance.

The benchmarking survey aims to capture the key trends, developments, size, transaction volume and growth as well as the impact of changing regulations on the alternative finance markets across Asia in 2016 – providing comparative data to last year’s inaugural study findings.

Last year’s inaugural report – Harnessing Potential estimated the total Asia-Pacific online alternative finance market had grown 323 percent year-on-year to reach $102.81 billion USD in 2015. China is the world’s largest market by transaction volume, registering $101.7 billion in 2015. Outside mainland China, the rest of the APAC region accrued $1.12 billion USD in 2015 with a 313 percent year-on-year growth rate from the $271.94 million raised in 2014.

Monash University Professor Rodney Maddock, the Interim Director at the Australian Centre for Financial Studies said: “New technologies are completely changing the face of finance. PayPal led the charge but there are a host of new and alternative payment solutions emerging. Borrowing is also being transformed with the dominance of banks under challenge.”

“New platforms are allowing investors to bypass banks and invest directly into small businesses. Many of the traditional difficulties small firms have had with accessing finance will disappear, and the small business sector will grow more rapidly as a result – with benefits for us all. This exciting project will provide key insights into how the sector is changing, how quickly and in which directions in Australia and across Asia,” Professor Maddock said.

Bryan Zhang, a Director at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, said: “This year’s survey aims to capture the development, diversity and dynamism of the crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending markets across the region, in turn, inform evidence-based policymaking and regulation. It is our pleasure to partner with the Australian Centre for Financial Studies at Monash, Tsinghua University and over 20 leading industry organisations to conduct this study and further our understanding of alternative finance.”

Professor Kong Ying, a Dean at the Tsinghua University, said: “Like the inception of any new business model, the alternative finance industry also takes a gradual progress to maturity and perfection. As society progresses, this survey report provides authoritative information and useful references for regulators, academics, practitioners in the industry, and serves the public interest.”

The findings of the survey will be made publicly available in the 2016-2017 Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report due to be published in Q2 2017.

All crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other alternative financing platforms that are currently operating in this region can access the industry survey.

Please see survey links below:

Survey links here:

English –

Chinese Traditional –

Chinese Simplified –

Japanese –

Korean –

Thai –


For more information, contact Monash Media & Communications + 61 3 9903 4840 or [email protected]