Nude pics as IOU: a new, risky online loan among Chinese university students

Global Times

Many Chinese university students were found to have used their nude
pictures as IOUs on some online lending platforms, putting themselves at
the risks of having everybody – including their parents – see them naked.

Such risky methods of IOU is found usable on several online lending
platforms, but it is usually more often accepted within the QQ group chats
connected to such platforms. Borrowers are also required to upload pictures
of their ID cards and report their family information, including their
address and cell phone numbers.

Once a clear photo of a naked borrower holding his or her ID card is
uploaded to lenders, he or she can get up to 15,000 yuan ($2,277) credit
with a maximum of 36 month installments, the Nandu Daily reported.

The credit varies based on the borrower’s education background. Usually an
undergraduate student can receive 15,000 yuan in credit, while those studying
at famous universities as well as doctorate students can receive even
larger loans.

What comes with the seemingly easy business transaction is costly overdue
repayment. According to a self-claimed former borrower Li Li (pseudonym), the
weekly interest rate was 30 percent for her 500 yuan borrowed from an online
platform in February. As she kept failing to pay back on set payment due dates,
she borrowed more money from the platform with the same weekly interest rate
until the overdue payment grew to 55,000 yuan, which then led to a threat
with her naked pictures, the Nandu Daily reported.

Li told the newspaper that many of her fellow students have borrowed money in
this way, but most were too ashamed to talk. Snapshots of similar threatening
collection messages have also gone viral, with a photo of a female borrower and
a message reading how the lender would send the photo and her naked video footage
to her family members if she could not pay back her 10,000 yuan borrowed on an
annual interest rate of 24 percent within a week.

“Naked IOUs started long ago. Not only university students but many others
also borrowed money with nude pictures,” an insider surnamed Zhang told Nandu
Daily.

Another Chengdu-based insider said naked pictures are often acceptable as IOUs
in underground private loans companies and borrowers – who are usually loaded
with debt – are ineligible at standard companies, but they can get tens of
thousands from such underground sources.

By Monday evening, several online lending platforms that secretly offer naked
IOUs have issued notices on their QQ group chats to stop receiving nude pictures
as IOU, Nandu Daily reported.

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