Chinese Online Lenders Plummet on Report of Tightened Policy

  • Shares of two companies tumble as much as 20 percent
  • Approvals of new online microlenders are halted, Netease says

American depositary receipts of several Chinese lenders are plunging following a report from Netease that the country has decided to halt approvals for new online microlenders, citing risky cash-loan businesses at some firms.

The Netease report raised concern that the lenders, some of which just recently listed in the U.S., could be subject to further restrictions. ADRs of Qudian Inc. and China Rapid Finance Limited fell as much as 20 percent, with Hexindai Inc. and Yirendai Ltd. also dropping. Adding to the pain, state-backed business publication Yicai Global earlier said Qudian suffered a data leak related to millions of student users, citing a Nov. 20 article from local media outlet Yibencaijing.

— With assistance by Belinda Cao, and Arie Shapira

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