A new app popular in China is being billed as “Uber For Loans.” The Chinese company JD Capital has a platform called Jiedaibao which allows individuals to loan money to borrowers. Need a “payday cash advance?” Log onto Jiedaibao and a random stranger can let you borrow a set amount of money with interest. The individual lenders are allowed to set the terms of the loan including the amount of money borrowed, the interest rate owed and any sort of collateral that may be put up in case the borrower is unable to repay their debt on time. This is where things get interesting.
Often these transactions occur between known friends and family. However, increasingly the lenders are experienced loan sharks who take hard tactics to get back their money when it is owed. This has led to the practice of “Naked Loans” on the app. It’s like predatory lending meets The Bang Bus.
Young, female college students are targeted who are requested to send nude photos while holding their ID’s . In exchange they are able to borrow a larger amount of money, however it is often still at a high, insane interest rate, sometimes as much as 30 percent a week. Montel Williams would be proud.
In one example, Lin Ziao a student from Jiangsu Province was starting a small business so she sent some naked photos to loaners for a 17 thousand dollar loan. However in just four months she owed them almost 37 thousand dollars. She had to ask actual friends and family for money to pay them off or else they would publish her nude photos.
What is crazy is under Chinese law using the nude photos as a form of collateral is actually illegal. In addition if the loaners actually send or post the naked photos over the Internet, it is also illegal in China to spread pornographic material. However the company that owns the app refused to get involved to stop the Naked Loans. They say that all terms of the loans are made between users in a private deal. Therefore the company cannot interfere and the risk is that of the borrower. It is like looking at porn and NOT clearing your internet history. YOU KNOW THE RISKS.
Break Debate: Should the app or the Chinese Government get involved and put an end to Naked Loans? Is this evil or genius?
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