(Yicai Global) July 24 -- Zheng Yansen, the controller of peer-to-peer lender Guangzhou Leader Internet Financial Information Service has disappeared, the firm announced yesterday.
It also acknowledged that 'some of its projects are delayed' and said it will set up a work group as soon as possible to inventory its assets and businesses, request borrowers to repay loans earlier than scheduled, and liquidate collateral as quickly as possible.
Guangzhou Leader formed in 2013. The company announced in April that it had signed a deal with the Portuguese men's national World Cup soccer team to become its official sponsor in China. Zheng and many of its executives went to Portugal in June to cheer on the country's squad in the run-up to the World Cup, media reported.
The company had recorded cumulative transactions of CNY8.4 billion (USD1.24 billion) as of yesterday, including CNY800 million (USD118 million) in debt swaps. It had also facilitated 21,060 loans, with 1,579 loans worth nearly CNY1.3 billion to be repaid and a bad-debt ratio of 0, data from its official website show.
Guangzhou Leader ranked 22nd among China's top 100 online lending platforms by development and second among the country's top 10 state-affiliated online lenders in March, according to the online P2P lending media run by Shanghai Yingxun Technology. It ranked fifth among 100 Chinese online lending platforms in regulatory compliance, according to media portal P2Peye.Com.
The firm's major corporate shareholders include Jieyang Xinde Asset Management, Zhongshi Zhaoye (Beijing) Food Development and Zhuhai Hengqin Huxing No. 21 Investment Fund. Zhongshi Zhaoye is a unit of China National Food Industry, a large-scale state-backed enterprise.
This is why the company has long touted itself as a 'state-affiliated' lending platform on its official website, on which a further, rather pathetic notice appeared yesterday, "The boss is away, but we are still in business as normal."
Times are tough for ex-fintech workers seeking reemployment in the real economy, as Yicai Global also reported today.
Editor: Ben Armour