Leeds Welcomes Chinese Crowdfunding Delegation from Guiyang

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Audrey White
20th April 2016

It was with pleasure and excitement that I accepted Joanne Lavan’s invitation to present to her Chinese delegation from Guiyang earlier this month.

I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a few international trade missions, thanks mainly to my past work with Web-Translations, so I know the value of these types of exchanges.

Crowdfunding is in its infancy in China, so many are keen to learn from more mature markets, including the challenges we face and how we plan to overcome them. As one of the early P2P lending platforms, rebuildingsociety has seen a few ups and downs. During a meeting with the delegation, Kylie presented the role the regulator played in consulting with industry and shared examples of our responses to the consultation papers, which were ultimately used to help shape the compliance requirements of our new industry.

I was impressed by the presentation and efforts of the officials who have been hard at work making Guiyang attractive for Crowdfunding entrepreneurs. They ‘have the crowd’ and with the right infrastructure they envision their city as a global crowdfunding leader by launching China’s first crowdfunding exchange. They hope to list more than 3,000 crowdfunded companies in a secondary market within three years.

P2P Lending is a very popular form of alternate investment for many Chinese investors. No less than 75 platforms were launched in 2015, contributing to a total of 159 that raised approximately £654m in 2015.

We were invited to participate at the World Crowdfunding Conference in Guiyang in October. It will be interesting to see if the less stringent regulation promotes growth and to what extent lender confidence is affected from any misconduct. There has already been considerable fraud and run-away entrepreneurs, but the market continues to grow.

Chinese culture requires you to establish a relationship of trust before doing business. The courts and legal system need to catch up to facilitate loan enforcement. A key requirement of any P2P platform is the legal system within which it operates and the enforceability of contracts.

Over the years I’ve seen a few entrepreneur friends head east. I really enjoy some of the international conferences, but it’s always nice when they come to your home city.

By Daniel Rajkumar, managing director of rebuildingsociety.com

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