Soon p2p lending via the internet will be available in the country with the largest population: China. Shanghai based startup Ppdai.com which is currently in its test period and open by invitation only, plans to launch in July. Two of the founders are former Microsoft employees.
Gu Shaofeng (Jack Gu), CTO of ppdai, told P2P-Banking.com: "Ppdai.com will be targeted at the small P2P loan in China (the root of P2P concept). The unique part is it emphasize the important of 'Friends', the concept of the Social Networking. Ppdai.com encourge users to lend to Friends, or friends'friend to reduce the risks."
As far as I can see the concept is a copy of the Prosper model (possibly without the groups). The minimum bid is only 50 Chinese Yuan – less then 7 US$.
According to the website, laws and regulation in China are not defining terms for p2p lending, but indirectly it can be assumed that p2p lending is not prohibited provided interest rates are not exceeding 4 times the interest rates of bank loans.
While browsing the site I noticed that the design is closely resembling designs of Smava, Prosper and in one occassion Lendingclub.
Smava original logo and homepage:
Prosper original bidding icons:
Ppdai copycat (text translated):