College girls fall prey to 'naked loan'

By Guo Yiming
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 1, 2016
Adjust font size:

Hundreds of female college students around the country are falling prey to the notorious "naked loan," mostly channeled through Jiedaibao, a peer-to-peer lending platform.

Zhang Ya, a teenage girl at a college in Liaocheng, Shandong Province, borrowed 5,000 yuan (US$750) from an online lending platform two months ago.

As the deadline for repayment has passed, she is at the mercy of a loan shark threatening to post her nude photos and videos online, as part of the loan agreement they had reached earlier.

Knowing that would happen if she delayed, Zhang went back to school before the summer break ended in hopes of finding a part-time job to cover the debt.

Another girl, Xiao Yu (an alias), also faces trouble after failing to pay back the money she got from shady lenders. With naked photos on hand, they are now "marketing" the 20-year-old girl to be someone's mistress with a price tag of 7,000 yuan per month.

These two girls are among hundreds of female college students around the country falling prey to the notorious "naked loan," mostly channeled through Jiedaibao, a peer-to-peer lending platform operated by the venture capital firm JD Capital.

Using their nude images as collateral, they borrow money from internet lenders at usurious interest rates.

Said one researcher into the phenomenon: "This kind of loan is really terrible, because parents of the victims might even receive blackmail messages and their nude photos."

A "naked loan" promoter named Xu Kai revealed this kind of scheme has been around for years, and most girls resorting to the practice are not in desperate need for money, but are really satisfying their desire to own the latest electronic devices.

Money for iPhones and dogs

Online chat groups and Jiedaibao are two important platforms acting as a bridge between lenders and borrowers.

"Naked selfie IOUs can be used as collateral and the credit can be as much as 30,000 yuan, with all procedures enabled through Jiedaibao." This kind of advertisement is a common sight for various online groups and on the walls of university campuses.

With a commonly accepted monthly interest rate of 20 percent, the loan business is particularly popular in September, when the summer break ends and freshmen begin college life.

In this month alone, Xu has lent money to 17 borrowers, mostly college girls with various needs, such as curing a dog's illness, buying an iPhone, starting a business and having an abortion.

They all agreed to send photos showing both their nude bodies and ID cards.

Coercing sex for debt

"Zhang Ya paid a small portion of money back," said her lender Li Bo. However, facing the final ultimatum, she is still way short of settling the debt.

While threatening to publish her nude photos, the loan shark suggested Zhang trade sex for money.

"With the help of a boss with deep pockets, you can pay back your debt, and at the same time, have a stable financial source," he explained.

She finally accepted the offer.

Zhang borrowed the money to buy an iPhone 6, after seeing all her dormitory roommates had one.

"I really hate those lenders," she said somewhat ruefully. Zhang was born into a humble family, which only values the male child. She had to cover all her tuition and other expenses at college through work-study programs.

In the eastern province of Shandong, at least a hundred girls, mostly under the age of 22, have been locked in "naked loans" and are unable to cover the debt.

"Over 50 percent are estimated to be bad loans, but, still the net profit is over 10 percent," said Xu Kai.

A spokesperson for Jiedaibao condemned the "naked loans," saying that "this kind of naked loan is actually taking advantage of the online platform to operate an illegal usurious offline business."

Jiedaibao is a platform to facilitate lending and borrowing between acquaintances and does not provide any loan services itself, he stressed. He advised customers not to trade with strangers out of security concerns.

Chinese college students find it hard to get credit from banks due to strict rules and limited loan availability, which may fuel the boom of online private lending, one expert has said.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from