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

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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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88 episodes