The sandbox approach to FinTech regulation: a case study of China


  • Miao Han
  • Donggen Xu


Palabras clave:



Finance has become increasingly enabled by innovations and technologies after the global financial crisis, calling for profound reforms regarding the regulatory regime. Regulation has lifted requirements to deal with systemic risk in the post-crisis era, but being slow to address the rise of FinTech activities. Such a mismatch requires more accommodative regulatory treatments, bringing about the sandbox among others. As far as Mainland China is concerned, it has been very active in applying technologies to finance, but its regulators and policy makers have struggled to manage market dynamics. This article is aimed to explore how to balance between ongoing regulatory reforms and a sharp rise of FinTech activities via the sandbox approach in China.
As an innovative regulatory tool, the sandbox is a safe space set to test innovation activities without harming consumers’ interests and fair competition. Since 2015, a growing number of sandboxes have been introduced to both developed and developing countries. This article selects some of them to make a comparative study. As presented by such cases, convergences co-exist with divergences, and the key elements can be summarized accordingly. The sandbox
has been further examined as a form of principles-based regulation, alongside risk-based approach. It is not the only option or best practice to boost innovations, but it is beneficial as long as to get it designed carefully. Then this article reviews newly-established sandboxes in China by drawing insights from the comparative study, proposing a “to-reform” list to Chinese reformers. As the conclusion, it highlights that the sandbox, carrying critical limitations,
might face extra challenges in China.




Cómo citar

Han, M., & Xu, D. (2022). The sandbox approach to FinTech regulation: a case study of China. Revista Chilena De Derecho, 49(2), 193–232.