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Big Data Pumps Money at 500 Million Chinese Lacking Credit

  • Mining of internet, point-of-sale data leads to new borrowers
  • Credit without collateral adds to shadow-banking dangers
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When Chinese liquor store owner Lu Ruibo saw a loan offer pop up on his mobile phone, it was far from the perfect deal: the annualized interest rate was more than 20 percent.

But Lu’s shop in Henan province was going through a cash squeeze and he needed money for family purchases like books and clothes, so he decided to borrow for the first time in his life.