What’s trending?

#花呗借呗不得向大学生放款# On March 17, the official website of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission posted a notice on regulating consumer loans for college students which is trending on Weibo, gaining more than 20 thousand comments.

What’s the story?

The notice said that microfinance firms are targeting campuses by marketing online consumer loans to college students. It went on to say that this tempts students into overspending, and results in some taking out high-value loans that infringe on their rights, with a negative impact on society.

In future, microfinance companies will be expressly forbidden from lending to college students, finance companies will need prior authorization to offer students credit, and local inspections will be carried out to ensure adherence to the regulations.

What are people saying online?

One irate-sounding student wrote, “Why does borrowing necessarily mean over-spending? I borrow on Huabei (a microfinance firm) so I can buy wealth management products. College students are adults. Who says we can’t repay what we’ve borrowed? After all, some of us are on scholarships or have part-time jobs.”

Another wondered why only students were disallowed from micro-lending sites. “People of the same age can use Huabei, but only if they don’t go to college. What does that even mean?”

Non-students expressed envy at college students who still had their lives funded by their parents. “Are the living expenses given by the parents not enough? If there is an emergency, ask your parents for more, and they can simply transfer it to you!”

University students have very little recourse to loans if microfinance platforms are out of bounds to them. As one said, “It’s really important for college students when it’s not convenient to borrow money [from friends or family].” Another questioned the approach of the regulators. “This is very formal, why? If [students] can’t borrow this way, they may go to high-interest loan sharks. If the most important thing is the loans, then regulators should look into universities forcing students to apply for credit cards.”

Another Weibo user asked if women couldn’t just control their spending a bit. “Sisters, let’s pull together. How can our living expenses be not enough? Nike a few days ago, Yves St. Laurent lipstick by the dozen. [We can do this] together!”

Contact editor Marcus Ryder ([email protected])

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