The Chinese online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry is a “disaster zone” of fraudulent activity and illegal fundraising, according to a senior official at the country’s Ministry of Public Security.

Wang Zhiguang, deputy director of the economic crimes investigation unit at the ministry, made the comment on Wednesday at a press conference organized by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in Beijing, according to state media outlet Xinhua (in Chinese).

National public security agencies filed more than 10,000 cases related to illegal fundraising in 2018, a 22% year-on-year increase, Xinhua cites him as saying. The cases involved an estimated RMB 300 billion (around $44.5 billion), 115% higher than in 2017. Wealth management, investment, and private equity services are also potentially problematic sectors, he said.

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Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.