BEIJING: China's peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending platforms still have more than 800 billion yuan (US$115 billion) unpaid to investors and their numbers have shrunk to just 29 across the country, the head of China's banking and insurance regulator said on Friday.
A regulatory crackdown amid a deleveraging campaign on risky investments led to a collapse of the sector that had thrived in previous years by attracting retail investors with higher-than-usual returns. At one time, there were around 6,000 platforms.
"As long as there is a slim chance of hope, we will work with police and other departments to chase the money back," the regulator chief, Guo Shuqing, told state television in an interview.
(US$1 = 6.9465 yuan)
(Reporting by Yawen Chen, Cheng Leng and Ryan Woo; Editing by Tom Hogue)