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Chinese Fintech Firm 51 Credit Card Raided by Police

By Zhang Yuzhe, Hu Yue, Hu Hongyuran and Denise Jia / Oct 22, 2019 04:15 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: Caixin

Photo: Caixin

Chinese police raided the Hangzhou office of Hong Kong-listed online credit card management platform 51 Credit Card Monday morning as part of a wider regulatory clampdown on fintech companies’ illegal scraping of personal information online.

The company confirmed with Caixin that its founder and Chief Executive Officer Sun Haitao and Chief Financial Officer Zhao Ke are cooperating with police.

The company didn’t disclose the reason for the raid, but industry participants speculated that it’s related to activities such as illegal collection of user information, using violence to collect debt and high service fees.

Shares of 51 Credit Card plunged nearly 35% Monday. The company halted trading of its stock in the afternoon.

Founded in 2012, 51 Credit Card started as a credit card bill management application and now also provides peer-to-peer lending through several platforms. The operating entity for the platform is Hangzhou Enniu Network Technology Co.

In July, 51 Renpin Loan, another lending platform operated by the company, was criticized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for collecting personal information without users' consent.

On a third-party complaint platform, some users reported that 51 Renpin Loan used vicious debt collection methods, such as exposing lenders’ contacts and harassing their families and friends. Some complaints reported that Yacolpay, an online payment service operated by 51 Credit Card, was involved in investments in illegal online gambling platforms outside China.

In a statement Monday afternoon, 51 Renpin Loan said its business operation and financial status remain normal and asked users not to believe rumors.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com)

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