"Naked loans"

Internet lenders in China demand naked photos of borrowers for collateral

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(Xinhua/Liu Dongyue via Getty Images)

Predatory internet lenders in China are allegedly coercing female college students into sending naked photographs of themselves in return for loans, Chinese state media reported this week. According to the state-run Beijing Youth Daily, some students have been agreeing to send photos of themselves naked, holding up their identification cards, to lenders in exchange for higher loan amounts — up to five times the average sum. The photos become a twisted form of collateral — if a student is slow repaying her loan, which is typically made at a usurious interest rate, the lender threatens to publish her photos.

Reports about the “naked loans” have sparked thousands of responses on Chinese websites and social media, as commenters condemned lenders and borrowers alike — the lenders for their coercive and potentially criminal behavior, and the borrowers for taking on loans that they cannot repay.

The loan schemes reportedly take place on JD Capital’s Jiedaibao website, a platform that allows individuals — often friends or family — to lend or borrow money on their own terms. In August of last year, Jiedaibao received more than $300 million in financing, “a record high in internet finance.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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