Nude self­ies used as col­lat­eral for Chi­nese loans

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Hun­dreds of pho­tos and videos of naked women used as col­lat­eral for loans on a Chi­nese on­line lend­ing ser­vice have leaked onto the web, high­light­ing reg­u­la­tory prob­lems in the fast­grow­ing peer-to-peer mar­ket­place. A 10gi­ga­byte file posted on the in­ter­net ex­posed the per­sonal de­tails of more than 160 young women who were asked to pro­vide the ex­plicit ma­te­rial to se­cure money through on­line lend­ing plat­form Jiedaibao.

Launched by JD Cap­i­tal in 2015, Jiedaibao al­lows lenders to op­er­ate anony­mously but re­quires bor­row­ers to re­veal their real names when mak­ing trans­ac­tions. Loan amounts and in­ter­est rates can be cus­tom­ized to meet the needs of users-of­ten peo­ple who have a hard time ac­cess­ing loans through more tra­di­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, like banks. In­ter­est on the “nude loans” reached an as­ton­ish­ing 30 per­cent a week, ac­cord­ing to the Global Times news­pa­per. Lenders told fe­male bor­row­ers that if they failed to re­pay the loans, their nude pho­tos would be sent to their fam­i­lies and friends, whose in­for­ma­tion was also re­quired for some trans­ac­tions, the ar­ti­cle said.

Ma­te­rial in the file put on the web last Wed­nes­day showed some bor­row­ers also promised to re­pay loans with sex­ual fa­vors, ac­cord­ing to screen cap­tures posted on so­cial me­dia web­sites. In a state­ment on its of­fi­cial Twit­ter-like Weibo ac­count, Jiedaibao said it had tracked down the ac­counts of sev­eral bor­row­ers through pho­tos and ID in­for­ma­tion cir­cu­lated on­line and had frozen the sus­pected lenders’ ac­counts.

“The ‘nude loans’ deals were mainly ini­ti­ated and com­pleted off­line, and Jiedaibao only played the role of a money trans­fer plat­form in the deals,” the state­ment said. The case is not the first time on­line P2P busi­nesses have been con­nected to po­ten­tially em­bar­rass­ing pho­tos. In Novem­ber, Ali­pay, the pay­ment plat­form of Chi­nese ecom­merce gi­ant Alibaba, was crit­i­cized af­ter a set of pho­tos show­ing fe­male users in se­duc­tive poses was leaked on so­cial me­dia. The pho­tos were orig­i­nally posted in Ali­pay’s newly launched so­cial me­dia fea­ture called Cir­cles, which al­lows only women to post pho­tos, and had ob­scene com­ments from male users.

China has nearly 2,600 plat­forms de­scribed as P2P busi­nesses, ac­cord­ing to one in­dus­try es­ti­mate, with trans­ac­tions val­ued at around $150 bil­lion last year. Bei­jing has been par­tic­u­larly wor­ried about P2P lend­ing and in Au­gust it tight­ened reg­u­la­tions by set­ting a bor­row­ing limit of one mil­lion yuan for in­di­vid­u­als. It also re­quired plat­forms to sup­ply and ver­ify the in­for­ma­tion of both bor­row­ers and lenders, and pro­vide credit as­sess­ment, fi­nan­cial con­sult­ing and con­flict res­o­lu­tion ser­vices. — AFP

BEI­JING: A woman walks past Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions in Bei­jing, China yes­ter­day. — AP

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