Hu Jun's endorsement overturned: how to solve the problem of paying hundreds of billions of online loans

  China News Weekly reporter / Jiang Zhiyu

  Published in the 1056th issue of "China News Weekly" magazine on August 15, 2022

  On August 1, actor Hu Jun was on the hot search for his endorsement of financial products overturned, which involved the platform Jiufu Digital Technology Group Co., Ltd.

  Hu Jun endorsed 9F’s P2P financial management software “Wukong Wealth Management”. After the issuance of the online loan industry clearing policy in 2020, 9F announced its withdrawal from the online lending information intermediary matching business. And provide three exit channels for lenders.

Two years later, several lenders said they had not received their money back.

  This is not a small amount.

9F Digits Group was established in 2006 and listed on the Nasdaq in August 2019. Previously, it mainly engaged in online lending matching and wealth management.

Among them, the online loan matching business includes "9Fu Pratt & Whitney", "NineFu Wallet" and "Wukong Wealth Management".

According to the operating information disclosed on the official website of “9F Puhui”, as of July 31, 2020, the current number of lenders on the 9F Puhui platform (referring to the total number of lenders with pending loans) exceeded 340,000, and the platform borrowed The balance (referring to the total amount of loan principal that has been completed through the platform and has not been repaid) exceeded 31.9 billion yuan.

  In November 2020, Liu Fushou, the chief lawyer of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, announced that the P2P online lending institutions operating nationwide had completely returned to zero from 5,000 at the peak.

However, the phenomenon that the P2P platform is "unclear" remains to be resolved.

  In April this year, the CBIRC’s P2P Online Lending Risk Special Rectification Work Leading Group disclosed that by the end of 2021, the number of closed online lending institutions whose P2P stock business has not been cleared has dropped from 1,466 to 1,169, a decrease of 297 from the beginning of the year. The outstanding balance dropped from 820.7 billion yuan to 497.4 billion yuan, a decrease of 323.3 billion yuan from the beginning of the year.

Although the P2P stock risk is gradually decreasing, the problems of stock clearance and redemption left by the platform still exist. How to continue to clear the balance in the future and let the lender safely "get off" still has a long way to go.

9 Fu "retreat is not clear"

  He Qingfeng didn't know until the end of 2020 that his mother had invested in a P2P platform that "could not be refunded".

In 2019, through the introduction of He Qingfeng's father's relatives, He Qingfeng's mother invested a little money in the "Nine Rich Wallet" to test the water. Since the payment is normal, the annual interest can reach 4% to 8%. She then continued to lend and invested about 50,000 yuan. principal.

  In the middle of 2020, “9Fu Wallet” and “Wukong Wealth Management” gradually experienced the phenomenon of overdue payment.

Since 9Fu claimed that the system update caused the payment to be slowed down, He Qingfeng's family did not take this matter to heart.

  By the end of 2020, as the country continues to implement the policy of “three reductions” (reducing the number of lenders, reducing the number of borrowers, and reducing the loan balance) on P2P platforms, the regulatory authorities require the online lending industry to clear up, and 9F Puhui announced its official withdrawal from the network. Lending information intermediary business matching business, "9Fu Wallet" and "Wukong Wealth Management" are suspended from bidding, and three exit channels are provided for lenders: first, convert the creditor's rights into coupons for its own mall; second, sell it at a discount , the bidder will purchase the bonds; third, the non-performing asset management institution will purchase the creditor's rights, which will be paid off step by step within 3 years.

  The closed period (service period) of the P2P platform is not the same as the loan period. The closed period refers to the service period during which the borrower and the platform sign an agreement, and the loan period refers to the period of the loan agreement signed between the lender and the borrower through the platform. Debt swaps are often completed by issuing new bids and mismatching capital pools.

If the number of lenders continues to decrease, the speed of debt-to-debt transfer on the platform will decrease, which will prolong the payment collection time of some projects, resulting in the situation that the lender's money is "expired", but the payment is not received.

  As the situation became more serious, He Qingfeng also learned that his mother "couldn't get the money back".

After multiple comparisons, they first chose the second channel - a one-time transfer and quick exit channel, that is, the free trading of existing claims in the market, so as to realize the exit as soon as possible.

The flow details provided by He Qingfeng show that on December 9, 2020, the lender applied for the exit method of channel 2, and tried to sell 50,000 yuan of creditor's rights at a 20% discount, but no one cared about it after 4 days.

In 9F’s explanation, as an online lending information intermediary agency, 9F does not guarantee the success of debt transfer, and whether the lender’s creditor’s rights can be transferred successfully is entirely determined by the market.

  After channel 2 was frustrated, on December 25, 2020, He Qingfeng's mother changed the exit method to channel 3, and exited in batches according to the principle of first and then the interest. 9F promised that the channel will last for 3 years, based on the initial principal. , monthly clearing, repayment in batches.

Based on 3 years, He Qingfeng's mother should receive 1,389 yuan in repayment every month, but the repayment records show that she received a total of 1,490 yuan in repayment from January to May 2021, of which only 40 yuan was received in May. .

  "Nine Rich's statement is that the monthly repayment amount of 'Channel 3' is not fixed and depends on the collection situation." He Qingfeng said.

In an article published at the end of 2020 on the 9F Pratt & Whitney official account, it stated that the subsequent repayment of the online loan platform mainly depends on the borrower's repayment situation. serious.

Although the introduction of licensed AMC recovery on the platform can maximize the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of lenders, there are still certain uncertainties in the actual situation in the future.

9F also said that due to restrictions on high-quality resources and assets, each exit channel of the platform is sorted according to the principles of “marketization” and “time priority”, and the lender who chooses the channel first can get preferential execution and other rights.

Therefore, 9F advised lenders to "choose a suitable exit channel as early as possible".

  9F called "Channel 3" as "suitable for lenders with a wealthy family, who are not in a hurry to use the money and are optimistic about the future payment." Out of concern that the payment could not be recovered, He Qingfeng's mother received the payment in May. Changed Channel 3 to "Channel 1", that is, exchanged the full amount of principal and interest 1:1 for gold beans in the mall. The record shows that she exchanged a total of 47,196.12 gold beans, which are valid for three years.

  In the beginning, the prices in the mall were reasonable.

He Qingfeng's mother exchanged items including a hanging air conditioner worth about 8,000 yuan, a rice cooker worth about 1,000 yuan, a trolley case worth about 800 yuan, etc. At present, there are still about 15,000 gold beans in the balance.

However, compared to 9F's previous statement that "the online mall is a third-party e-commerce platform with e-commerce qualifications and is priced according to market prices", what many lenders cannot accept is that some products in the mall can reach market prices. 5 times, for example, the Honor 60 mobile phone store with a configuration of 12+256G is priced at 15,366 yuan, while the same product is only 2,999 yuan in the Tmall Honor flagship store.

  He Qingfeng gradually realized that "Channel 1" is not a cost-effective choice.

According to 9F’s instructions when it launched multiple exit channels at the end of 2020, users who choose “Channel 1” still have the right to choose other channels at their own discretion for the amount of unredeemed commodities.

  However, when He Qingfeng asked the customer service staff of the mall and the staff marked as Mido Online (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd., the other party said that users with a record of redeeming gold beans could not change other channels.

According to the data of Aiqicha, one of the shareholders of Mido Online (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. is Xi'an Guoheng Legal Services Co., Ltd., and 9F once introduced a licensed AMC-Ningxia Shunyi Asset Management Co., Ltd., which entrusted Guoheng as the Debt sorting agency.

The customer service told He Qingfeng that due to the serious phenomenon of debt evasion, the second and third repayments are now falling rapidly, the second channel is 1-2% off, and the third channel may receive less and less money in the future. It is recommended that the lender exchange commodities as soon as possible to withdraw.

Lender encounters platform "shake car"

  The experience of He Qingfeng's family is called the result of the platform's "rocking the car".

"This is a common operation in the field of online lending. The platform hopes to use various means to let the lender get off the car as soon as possible and get off the car at a discount." Wang Wei, another lender of 9F, said.

  Wang Wei invested a total of 300,000 yuan in 9Fu.

In 2013, he learned about 9F through an online group chat. At that time, 9F did not have an App, and they all met offline with the wealth management manager and purchased the wealth management products by swiping the card at the POS machine, and later authorized the redemption through the wealth management manager.

From 2013 to 2015, Wang Wei invested 60,000 yuan. At that time, the annualized interest rate was around 9.5% to 10%. The platform also had interest rate increase coupons, and the interest rate was higher than 10%.

"The interest is much higher than that of the bank. I re-invested once, and finally got about 75,000 yuan."

  In 2018, Wang Wei bought another 150,000 yuan of wealth management products from 9Fu, with a return rate of about 8%.

Because of the high income, he also introduced four relatives to use 9 Fu.

By the beginning of 2020, despite the rumors of multiple P2P platforms "exploding" at that time, the wealth management manager told Wang Weijiu that he had done a good job in risk control. He still bought 300,000 yuan of wealth management and planned to redeem it in March 2021.

  By October 2020, he found that the vast majority of lenders had difficulty paying.

When choosing three multiple exit channels, he first ruled out "channel one", "If all 300,000 can be exchanged for iphone12, cars and other products that are easy to change hands, I will choose it, but the mall provides mainly daily necessities with poor market liquidity. ."

  When considering "Channel 2", because it is freely traded in the market, Wang Wei found that he needed a larger discount to sell.

He found that when a lender listed a transfer at the original price, the system would automatically pop up words such as "recommended to sell at a discount at the market price", resulting in a disguised interception.

Therefore, Wang Wei finally chose "Channel 3", and he also became one of the lucky ones among many lenders. He received more than 8,000 yuan in repayments every month, and he repaid 1/36 of the repayments on time stably. Lenders almost all stop paying after three months of repayment.

The reason is that he believes that not all the products he buys are ordinary wealth management products, but there are also insurance-guaranteed products such as the "Baby Plan".

  Wang Wei said that at present, 9F has launched an exit method called "creditor's rights replacement", which allows the borrower to re-match the creditor's rights and hand it over to the designated law firm for collection.

"I received a call from the platform asking me to exchange for debt replacement, and I declined." Wang Wei said, "It has an invisible discount, and the legal reminder service fee is 20%. It's the equivalent of 'getting off'."

  Wang Wei said that the third-party app used by 9Fu has many "traps", and he showed reporters that after opening the app, a pop-up window would appear, saying "Legal reminders are currently the most effective way to collect money, your legal The amount of the claimed debt is 158,913.55 yuan", if you click "Go to View", it is easy to be directly identified by the App as agreeing to the replacement of the debt and choosing the legal reminder.

  On the "Black Cat Complaints" platform, there were 68,625 complaints about "Nine Fu", including not only the lender's complaints about Jindou Mall and the situation of payment collection, but also the borrower's complaints about collection.

  Some people in the industry believe that the platform uses the method of "swinging the car" to make the lender who holds the creditor's right think that it is difficult to repay the money, causing panic, and instead chooses a discount method to exit as soon as possible, and the platform can "reap" from it, so I want to do everything. A way to get some people to give up their debts.

From the perspective of lenders, it is also hoped that some lenders will be "thrown off". The fewer people participate, the greater the possibility that the remaining people will get their principal and interest back.

  "Capital game." Wang Wei said, "You have to be able to play, you have to afford to lose, and you have to have a sense of risk control." He is still optimistic that 9F will retire within the promised three years.

He receives 1/36 of the money back every month, and believes that the purpose of 9Fu is to achieve a benign exit. To maintain its listing and transformation and development, it is necessary to let all lenders “get off”. Now the lenders only need to wait until the end .

  However, in He Qingfeng's view, things are not that simple.

9Fu is registered in Fangshan District, Beijing. Currently, the supervisory authority responsible for 9Fu’s withdrawal is mainly the special class for the resolution of 9Fu’s inclusive platform in Fangshan District.

He Qingfeng once called the special class to see if he could get all the money back within 36 months.

On August 9, the reporter called the special class to ask the same question. The other party said that "the special class only answers questions for the lender. If you have any questions, you can report it to your superiors."

  Although he had "get off the bus", He Qingfeng still felt that the loan of 50,000 yuan was more like a "deceived" than investing in stocks, although He Qingfeng's mother knew that P2P was in a "grey area" of supervision at the time when she lent it.

  Is it legal for the platform to "shake the car"?

People familiar with the industry said that these practices were the methods used by most platforms to "cut the leeks" before they were placed on file by the economic investigation.

The core of a similar scheme is to let borrowers bear the losses themselves, so that the platform trades time for space.

From the perspective of financial supervision, as long as the two parties reach an agreement, this plan is generally accepted by default, so as to reduce the stock and resolve potential risks as soon as possible.

  Yin Zhentao, director of the Financial Technology Research Office of the Institute of Finance, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China News Weekly that after the special rectification of the P2P industry, many institutions have adopted the same exit plan as 9F, and there is still a lack of relevant laws and regulations for the P2P exit plan.

How do online loan platforms exit benignly?

  It has been one year and eight months since 9Fu announced the suspension of bidding, and no relevant data on the progress of the liquidation has been disclosed so far.

  Yin Zhentao believes that after the platform is cleared, the issue of stock clearance and redemption has not been resolved. The most important thing is the lack of corresponding laws, regulations and regulatory rules. Because there is no previous experience, it is very difficult from filing a case to a judgment.

In addition, the P2P platform is a two-sided market, involving a large number of people, not only a large number of lenders, but also a large number of borrowers. In addition to the impact of economic situation, employment situation, and income changes, more debt evasion has been generated to solve this problem. appears more difficult.

  Liu Xiaochun, deputy dean of the China Institute of Finance of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, told China News Weekly that in the early stage of the development of P2P platforms, there was a lack of legal and regulatory definitions of platform responsibilities.

"The nature of the P2P platform is an intermediary, only responsible for providing information and investment channels, and the risk is borne by the investor. In this system, the platform presents the borrower's information, but whether it is complete, true or not, the platform has no ability to evaluate, The system itself is flawed; in terms of the exit plan, whether the lender's rights and interests should recover the principal, or the principal and interest, or cannot demand a return, is not clearly stipulated in the legal system."

  Liu Xiaochun believes that P2P is an "imported product". After the concept was introduced into China, it has broken through the original definition in innovative practice. The platform is not an information intermediary, but directly becomes a financing intermediary, and some even directly do "self-financing" business. A situation of increased risk.

  The online lending platform’s self-financing business is suspected of “illegal fundraising”, and some P2P platforms have been filed by the police before.

For example, in 2018, the Xiacheng Branch of the Hangzhou Public Security Bureau filed a case for investigation on the online lending platform “Renren Love Home Finance” and Hangzhou Kongming Financial Information Service Co., Ltd. on suspicion of illegally absorbing public deposits.

In 2020, the platform "Love Qianjin" endorsed by Hunan Satellite TV host Wang Han was investigated by Beijing Dongcheng Public Security Bureau on suspicion of illegally absorbing public deposits.

  After the case is filed, the public security will carry out the recovery work for the platform borrower.

For example,, known as "one of the largest auto loan P2P platforms in China", was investigated by the Shangcheng District Branch of Hangzhou Public Security Bureau in July 2020. By June 21, 2021, the Shangcheng Public Security Bureau notified the accumulative Raised funds can cover the unpaid principal of the lender (cumulative recharge minus cumulative withdrawal). subsequently disclosed in its financial report released in August of that year that all outstanding net principal balances on the Weidai platform had been repaid in full.

  Some P2P institutions have also completed the stock clearance.

For example, Paipaidai, which has been transformed into a loan-supporting institution, still had a loan balance of 1.957 billion yuan as of March 31, 2020, but announced the completion of the liquidation in October of that year.

Some people familiar with the industry said that Paipaidai and can complete the liquidation and repay all the balance, not only because the loan balance is smaller than that of 9F, but also because of the difference in assets.

" mainly focuses on car loans, and the quality of its assets is relatively good. 9F's assets are too complicated."

  9F is also gradually transforming.

In September 2021, 9F announced that it will transform from a credit technology service provider to a digital financial technology service provider, and transform into a global platform for securities and digital asset investment and trading, providing users with global stock investment, bond trading and digital assets. Manage services.

  For a P2P platform, the threshold for transformation is very high. Even if the competition in the securities brokerage business is fierce, it is a choice that 9F has to make.

On the morning of August 9, 9F’s share price was US$0.679 per share, a sharp drop from the highest opening price of 11.9 yuan per share on November 13, 2019.

In addition, 9F’s 2021 annual report data shows that its total revenue in 2021 will be US$123 million, a year-on-year decrease of 37.38%, and the loan service, which is the mainstay of revenue, has contracted sharply.

  Wukong Finance has been renamed Wukong Preferred in August 2020. At present, the app can still be downloaded and used normally, but the previous P2P products are no longer available. Now, its positioning is "a mobile big data and artificial intelligence technology, Provide professional investment intelligent management and information service tools for the majority of individual users, and provide banking, fund management and other services."

  At present, 9Fu has not been investigated by the public security organs on suspicion of illegally absorbing public deposits.

Among civil precedents, China Judgment Documents Network has published a number of precedents related to 9F, all of which ended in the lender's defeat.

In a civil judgment published on November 30, 2021 between a lender and 9Fu in a private lending dispute, the People's Court of Licheng District, Jinan City, Shandong Province held that the key criterion for judging whether an online lending intermediary agency only provides media services is whether the intermediary agency has established Whether the fund pool is self-financing or disguised as self-financing, and whether it illegally absorbs public deposits. In this case, there is only an intermediary contract relationship between the party Song Mou and Beijing 9Fu Company, and the loans provided are all opened through Hua Xia Bank Beijing Branch. The personal depository account of the company is directly paid to the borrower, and there is no evidence to prove that Beijing 9Fu has set up a capital pool. Therefore, Song's request for repayment of the loan principal and interest by 9F is not supported.

  Yin Zhentao believes that because the P2P platform has been out of operation for many years and the number of investors is huge, it is necessary to collect and organize investors' information as soon as possible to prove their investment amount, income, number of transactions and other information, and also to solve the follow-up payment problem.

In addition, platforms that illegally raise funds should be severely punished, and those who evade debts and illegal organizations such as anti-collection alliances should also be cracked down in accordance with the law.

  Zhou Hao, a lawyer from Beijing Yingke Law Firm, said that the difficulty in clearing the platform lies in the issue of funds. As an information intermediary platform, the lender provides funds, and the borrower borrows the funds. If the borrower's funds are difficult to recover or difficult to recover If it is large and the time period is long, it will be difficult to clear the borrower's funds.

Zhou Hao believes that with the steady clearance at the regulatory level, the risk of P2P platforms is gradually decreasing, and the platform that fails to be cleared and the unpaid amount will continue to be supervised in the future.

  "In the field of P2P online lending, there was an obvious vacuum and lag in supervision, which is a problem worth reflecting on, but at the same time, it is difficult for supervision to be forward-looking." Yin Zhentao believes that in order to promote industry innovation, the scale of supervision appears to be more difficulty.

When a problem is discovered, how to warn the problem and issue a policy requires a standardized disposal procedure, and it is clear which department will come forward at what time, which will increase the workload of supervision, but while technology supports financial innovation, it can also make Technology supports innovation in financial supervision, and uses technological means to assist the improvement of supervision capabilities.

  (At the request of the interviewee, He Qingfeng and Wang Wei are pseudonyms.)

  "China News Weekly" Issue 30, 2022

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