Briefing: Peer-to-peer lending platform Weidai raises $45 million in US IPO

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Weidai prices IPO at $10 midpoint-Nasdaq

What happened: Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform Weidai debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on November 15, raising $45 million by offering 4.5 million shares at $10. Founded in 2011, the firm operates an online marketplace that connects Chinese borrowers—who use their car as collateral—with peer and institutional lenders. The company has recorded net profits of RMB 291 million in 2016  and RMB 474 million in 2017 and RMB 307 in the first six months of 2018.

Why it’s important: Weidai’s IPO is one of the latest after China has decided to strictly manage non-qualified peer-to-peer lending finance businesses to stabilize national financial environment since June. As China’s economic growth slows down and domestic sales of vehicles drop compared to those of last year, Weidai might find it hard to sustain the business by improving substantial operation in the near future. An IPO is then a must to inject capital to improve liquidity and defend systematics risks.