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  • Writer's pictureAngela

Nude selfies for loans

Students were forced to give a ‘naked IOU’ (I owe you) to get a loan ... and these photographs (and sometimes videos) were used to threaten young women if they try to default on their debts. More than 100 of these 'personal files' were leaked onto the Internet...


An opinion poll has suggested sharply divided opinions among the public in China after reports revealed that some female college students had to pose apparently naked holding their ID cards in order to get a loan. The reports said the people or groups lending the cash used the photographs as form of insurance or threat, saying they would publish the pictures if the debts were not paid back by the students or their parents.


A survey on the issue was carried out among just over 69,000 people and about 55 per cent of those polled said the women should be blamed, the Legal Weekly reported. Some said the case reflected falling moral standards. Most of these girls obliged with these loan conditions, and posed for naked pictures with their ID card, out of free will.


About 44 per cent, however, said the loan sharks should take all the criticism for taking advantage of the young, vulnerable women. Photographs of students have been published on the internet and marked “nude-selfie IOU”, with some trying to profit by selling the pictures. I guess that's another way for the loan sharks to make money - on top of the interests paid on the loans.


The Southern Metropolis Daily reported earlier on the case of one young woman, whose real name was not given, who initially borrowed 500 yuan (HK$600) from a middleman on the peer-to-peer lending platform Jiedaibao at a weekly interest rate of 30 per cent. She had to take out new loans to repay old debts and the situation spiralled out of control, the newspaper said. It left her with an accumulated debt of 55,000 yuan. She only managed to get a further loan after providing a nude photo of herself holding her ID card, the report said. A number of loan sharks have demanded demeaning, humiliating pictures, according to media reports.


The education and banking authorities have jointly issued rules to curb illegal online lending on all campuses. Observers were quoted in the Legal Weekly as saying it was difficult for regulators to stop such loans which were conducted privately online. College students are often shunned by banks after a bout of credit cards defaults in recent years. Banks take a cautious stance on lending to students, although the China Banking Regulatory Commission allows lenders to issue them credit cards if their parents can guarantee repayment.

Do you have some of these IOU pictures from desperate girls posing nude with their ID cards as loan collateral ? Or are you interested to hear more about these when I get some ? Drop me a note (contact information below)!

The ‘Nude selfies for loans’ scandal sheds light on China’s rampant underground banking and highlights the murky world of loan sharks, nation’s underdeveloped financial system and absence of proper student loans, say analysts.


Details have been revealed of more than 100 more cases of young women college students in China who were forced to hand over naked selfies to ensure they would pay money back to loan sharks. The China Youth Daily said it had found nude pictures and intimate videos of 167 young women, mainly aged 19 to 23 and from across the country. Hey at least these loan sharks had the decency of not providing loans to underage girls.


At least 10 gigabytes of the material has been leaked online to internet users, along with the women’s contact details and relatives’ addresses, according to the newspaper report. The scandal sheds lights on the widespread use of “underground banking” in Chinese society, increasingly helped by internet technologies.


Students, blue-collar workers and rural residents seldom have credit records in the reference centre of China’s central bank, a system that registers residents’ credit information and can be viewed by the public online, so cannot borrow money from banks or traditional financial institutions. More than 500 million of China’s population is estimated to be in this group.


They become easy targets of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and online loan sharks, as they usually have low risk awareness, are willing to accept high interest rates can be dealt with outside the law if they default on the loan. Having long been ignored by banks and traditional financial institutions as not being “good-quality clients”, some are willing to risk much to get quick cash as they have no collateral.


Would you be willing to hand over naked pictures of yourself, in order to secure a loan ? Would you do a naked video chat, strip and bate with your loan shark in order to delay further payments ? How far would you go ?


Similar cases have previously made headlines across Chinese media, stirring debate about unscrupulous moneylenders, financial pressures on students and whether the women were right to hand over their pictures. The cases could run into the thousands. Analysts also said the cases were indicative of China’s rising consumerism, underdeveloped financial system and the absence of a proper student loan system. The average annual growth rate for consumer loans in China, excluding mortgages, is 28 per cent, according to a report by Ping An Bank in July.


Growing demand for loans cannot be satisfied by established banks and credit firms, pushing people needing cash to family and friends for credit or to peer-to-peer loan services and online money lenders, according to analysts. Zhang Jun, the chief executive of P2P lending platform Pai Pai Dai, said there were almost 500 million people in China without a credit card who were yet to be covered by traditional financial services, the National Business Daily reported.


An executive with another P2P lending firm told the South China Morning Post that young Chinese consumers, who have little real assets to offer as collateral, are the main customers of online credit, which is often granted within a few hours and requires little paperwork. The students caught up in the scandal were also attracted by the speed of borrowing money if they supplied compromising pictures.


“I got 5,000 yuan [HK$5,550] in loans in less than three minutes after my submission of nude selfies and videos of myself to the lender,” the China Youth Daily quoted one woman as saying. The interest rate of her loan was 27 per cent a month, according to the newspaper.


She got the money... and The Internet got the pictures... Do you know of similar stories ? Do you have some of these loan-pictures and videos ? Let me know !


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