May 28 was CreditEase’s 13th birthday. To mark the anniversary, the company held a celebration with the theme of “Better Life – CreditEase 13th Anniversary.” Company founder and CEO Mr. Tang Ning delivered a speech titled “Looking to the Future While Staying on the Ground.”
Despite having 13 years of history, Tang said: “Today’s CreditEase is a 13-year-old startup.” Throughout its 13 years, Tang firmly believes in “Persevering to do things right and not just taking the easy way out.” With regards to the past, he believes that: “When you take things one step at a time, you will feel at ease; When you’ve done things right, you will be able to sleep well at night.” As to the future Tang believes that: “Being a person with integrity and love for others means living every minute to the fullest and without fear.”
Below is Tang’s recorded speech.
Dear partners, friends, and guests. Thank you for coming to this special event in honor of CreditEase’s 13th anniversary.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says watching a child at age 3 you can see his adulthood; and watching a child at 7 you see how he’ll how he’ll look in old age. Today’s CreditEase is a 13 year old startup. Even though our history isn’t long, the past 13 years have been filled with unforgettable moments. Where will this organization be in the future? What will CreditEase become? I believe that every company will find a sense of nostalgia when it looks back at its history. Remembering what we were like at 3, and also what we accomplished at the age of 7, will prepare us for the future.
In 2012, CreditEase introduced the “Three Steps of Inclusive Finance.” The first is building credit and obtaining funds through small loans. The second is establishment of financial capabilities by managing investments, insurance, payments and the like. The last step is helping those not covered by traditional financial systems, such as micro-businesses and rural farmers. These steps allow people to boost productivity and live better lives. Today, CreditEase has fully taken these three steps in the Chinese financial market.
These 13 years have taught me that you must persevere to do things right rather than take the easy way out. I think everything we’ve achieved has been very challenging, but being able to overcome those challenges is what gives this organization its value. When Yirendai faced the question of whether or not to go public, I had to make a difficult decision. Global markets were not in our favor, so should we go public? And we said yes! We had to plant this flag where we could be the first to introduce the Chinese model to the global market and to set the bar for the online loans industry. That is why a lot of the things we see today aren’t surprising to us. Back in those days you could already see a difference between regulated organizations that were turning left and unregulated ones turning right.
In 2012 when we were 6 years old, we only had one product – connecting online lenders and borrowers. At that time, we also had to consider what our clients might want in the future: from one product to multiple products; then from multiple products to multiple services; followed by full-service then turn-key solutions, such as wealth management products based on asset allocation. These are four important pillars we had to build one by one. Each time, we had to make big changes to the organization. It’s never easy adding new capabilities. It’s also very difficult to make organizational changes, including changing clients’ expectations.
CreditEase saw the future of China’s wealth management industry back in 2012. We strongly believe in giving clients what they’re looking for. It wasn’t easy. Back then, very few people talked about asset allocation or Funds of Funds (FOF). Today, these terms are commonly used by investment professionals, even though many of our clients still aren’t familiar with asset allocation, global asset allocation, FOF, and long-term investment. So as you can see, it’s very difficult to educate our clients to become good investors. FOFs are difficult. Single funds are easy, single investments are easier. But for our clients, for the future of this market and this industry overall, we have had to choose a path that was difficult but correct.
In January of 2016, we published our Global Asset Allocation White Paper. At the time, it attracted very little attention. Then in the spring of 2019, it became our industry’s most sought-after publication.
Frankly, we attained every one of our new capabilities over the length of several years. Maybe we aren’t as bright as some. However I’ve never seen any core capability developed overnight, the same way muscles don’t develop overnight. We have always taken one firm step at a time, with an ultimate goal of improving and preparing ourselves in the present. When you’ve done things step by step, you will feel at ease; When you’ve done things right, you will be able to sleep at night. In the past we never gave up developing these capabilities. We believe that a job well done owes to strong core competences. Globalized, investment, technological, and general service capabilities. We remind ourselves of these every day. We say them to the investment team, the tech team, the general service team, and to our colleagues overseas. These capabilities are what we depend on, and each of them takes many years of hard work and precision to craft. As a result CreditEase now stands at the top of China’s wealth management industry.
A moment ago a guest said that there is logic to beauty. I agree with that. We didn’t get here using guesswork. No, we looked beyond into the future and used that to guide us.
In June and July 2008, I wrote two emails on the company's talent perspective. At the time we had less than 100 people, yet we were already a decent sized organization. I think there aren’t a lot of people in the general workforce who put their whole heart into work. That explains why not a lot of people will succeed in their careers. Once you are committed, you will get an incredible feeling like you've never had before. Being a person of integrity and who loves others lets you live every minute to the fullest and without fear.
I told my colleagues that the terms "average", "ok", "so-so", and "close enough" don't exist in CreditEase's vocabulary. Those who wish for a simple life and average careers don’t belong in our organization. CreditEase's principles rely on the mindset and desire for pursuing excellence, surpassing oneself, discipline, curiosity, responsibility, empathy, and transparency.
Only this kind of enterprise can bring credit to China and its hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens. And only this kind of enterprise can be the pride of every member on the team, giving everyone a feeling of belonging and being spiritually rewarded. I think that an organization must never give up. There must be something that keeps us going, the same principles, values, and original intentions.
During our mid-year management meeting of 2013, I presented our top executives with my “Future Vision for CreditEase”. The points I made have never changed since then. And they will not change in the foreseeable future either. We are determined to be the leader and the leading brand in financial reform, financial innovation, and financial services of China. We will be a force in the establishment of China’s social credit system; for high growth clients, we will be the channel to realize their value potential; We will also be a force helping the rise of the middle class, reshaping social structures; We will help them generate value and wealth and pass it on to the next generations; We also want to become the career platform and spiritual home not just for CreditEase employees, but also China’s top financial and technical talents. Everything we do today is guided by these visions we have. On this road, we are focused and confident as we develop and grow.
Finally I'd like to say thank you to every one of our clients, partners and VIPs from the past 13 years for trusting in us, for giving us support, criticism, and empowering us. CreditEase would have never achieved all of these things on our own. Today CreditEase is a large family with the treasured trust from everyone here today. We work with credit. Trust is very valuable however difficult to come by in China, both trust in our original mission and trust in professionalism. I believe a company must have ambition and must obtain skills to improve itself. With all of the help and encouragement from everyone, we are determined to go even farther in the future with everyone here. Together we'll do things the right way rather than take the easy way out, and enjoy a most beautiful future. Thank you very much.