China puts brakes on $150b micro-lending boom

PBoC bans new online micro-financing firms and limits existing firms from lending outside home province, order seen by FinanceAsia shows. For investors, its a cautionary tale.

Regulators have moved to rein in China's booming micro-lenders, sending shares of several US-listed firms that offer small, unsecured loans online slumping.

For investors, it's another stark reminder of the regulatory perils that can suddenly undermine a lucrative and fast-growing sector of China's ever-changing economy.

The People's Bank of China PBoC has banned provincial governments from approving the creation of new internet micro-lending firms, a type of fintech company that offers short-term, small loans for any purpose. It has also banned recently approved firms from conducting any new lending outside their home province, though it did not define recently approved. The PBoC's order, of which...

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