China Tech Talk 77: Peer-to-peer lending in China—Tech-driven shadow banking with Andrew Polk

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China Tech Talk is an almost weekly discussion of the most important issues in China’s tech. From IPOs to fake data, from the role of WeChat to Apple’s waning influence, hosts John Artman and Matthew Brennan interview experts and discuss the trends shaping China’s tech industry.

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China’s online peer-to-peer lending industry has been in turmoil for the last three years as financial regulators have clamped down as part of “de-risking” efforts. Tuandai.com, a top P2P lender, collapsed in March due to turnover problems. As of February, the platform had more than 220,000 investors with RMB 14.5 billion ($2.15 billion) in outstanding loans. The company is under investigation for illegal fundraising, leading to the arrest of 41 people so far, including co-owners Tang Jun and Zhang Lin.

This week, Andrew Polk, partner at Trivium China, joins us to discuss what’s happening with the P2P lending industry in China.

Key questions:

  • What role has the government played in the growth and death of P2P lending?
  • How is the crackdown on cryptocurrency different from the tightening regulations around P2P lending?
  • Are P2P companies really tech companies, as many claim?
  • Can we expect companies like Dianrong to survive this round of government scrutiny?

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