The rise of online consumer loans in China has spawned a thriving black market in stolen user data.
The rise of online consumer loans in China has spawned a thriving black market in stolen user data. Virtually non-existent in the country five years ago, consumer lending through websites and mobile apps has expanded rapidly over the past 18 months amid a proliferation of fintech start-ups that use big data to assess credit risk. Two such companies, Qudian and Ppdai, have completed initial public offerings in New York since October, capitalising on investor enthusiasm for fintech. Their share prices have suffered in recent weeks, however, after Chinese authorities launched a crackdown on the industry. Chinese regulators last week suspended issuance of licences for new online lenders.