E-Commerce TaoBao Bidding on Debt

Published on: 11 Jul, 2017

China’s biggest e-commerce platform TaoBao is used by millions of Chinese consumers to purchase a range of everything from food to electronics and markets more than 1 billion yuan of assets a day. Owned by e-retailing giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), customers on the site can now bid for bad debt sales such as a steelmaker from Zhejiang for 4.15 million yuan ($610,000). This company has failed to pay back a 9.95 million yuan loan including interest leading to an asset manager auctioning it off to the highest online bidder. Recent listings also include a property in central Beijing, a portfolio of non performing loans from companies in the Yunnan province, as well as a villa seized by a bank in Shaoxing.

China’s rise of bad debt has been continuing over the years so many people resort to e-retailing. Growth has been slowly declining as Beijing pushes lenders to find market oriented ways of dealing with loans. Debt interest has been increasing as well as bank and asset managers strive to think out of the box besides traditional venues like exchanging of assets and auctioning houses.

China Cinda Asset Management Co. announced last month in its efforts with collaborating with Alibaba to set up a special section on Taobao to auction its merchandises. Following this move, more than 50 other websites marketing their services to banks and other sellers of bad loans emerged in China in the first half of last year. More than 20 financial institutions are also listed as partners on Taobao’s auction platform for assets.

Despite all of this, Chinese bad loan prices are still up to more than 30 percent this year. Supply of bad loans in China are likely to increase even more with most coming from trust companies, peer to peer lenders, and internet financing firms.

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Ariana Cheong

Email: ariana@financialinsiders.com

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