Two Chinese executives sentenced to life prison for ponzi scheme – China’s latest business and technology news

Business & Technology

A summary of the top news in Chinese business and technology for September 12, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

FILE PHOTO: Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo - RTX2YBYD

A Beijing court sentenced two Chinese executives, who were behind a $9 billion ponzi scheme, to life imprisonment on Tuesday. Ezubao (e租宝 zūbǎo), the peer-to-peer lending platform launched in 2014 that was once China’s largest, turned out to be a scam that raised $9.14 billion from more than 900,000 investors, Reuters reports. In early 2016, when police made arrests, the company had failed to repay 38 billion yuan ($5.8 billion). Twenty-four other people who were involved in the scam were also jailed for three to 15 years.

The sentences can be seen as part of China’s crackdown on controversial fundraising and lending behaviours in the country’s financial sector. Three other cases this summer:

  • On August 30, armed police arrested more than 1,200 people for having links to a 360 million yuan ($54.6 million) scam in Beihai, a bustling coastal city in southern Guangxi Province, SCMP reported.
  • On August 22, Xinhua reported that 368 people were arrested in a separate case in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Province. That scheme reportedly involved 1.5 billion yuan ($228 million).
  • On July 24, what appeared to be thousands of investors in a company called Shanxinhui protested in the heart of Beijing after the chairman of the company was arrested.