It is an open secret that some online finance service platforms are asking female debtors to give them nude photos in exchange for a loan, or to extend the deadline of debt payment. Now, with the leaking of female debtors’ nude photos and videos online — thanks to the circulation of a 10-gigabytes file on the Chinese internet — the alarm has been sounded.
The zipped file contains photos and sex tapes of at least 161 women, the majority of which are college students between 17 to 23 years of age. Along with the visual materials are chat records and identity information — including relatives’ names and personal particulars.
The leaked documents come from Jiedaibao, a social network-based, online finance service platform, which facilitates one-on-one loans. Debtors must use their real identity in their profile, while the lenders can remain anonymous. The finance company has issued a statement denouncing any involvement with the leak, and is reportedly cooperating fully with the police in the investigation.
In order to get a loan, the young women were asked to take nude selfies holding their identity card; some were even asked to masturbate in front of the camera. In addition to this, other documents were shown — include student identity cards, and screenshots of university student user platforms.
The lenders told the young women that if they could not pay back the money on time, they would release the photos and videos. According to the chat records, they also suggested that other ways for debt to be repaid was by having sex with strangers (which the lenders would organize) or participating in online nude chats.
The leaked documents contain some 26 debt records which indicate that the amount of the loans ranges from RMB 1,000-23,000 (approximately USD 145-3,340). The loan periods vary from five weeks to nine months, and the weekly interest rate can be as much as 15%.
The majority of Chinese netizens had no desire to try and understand why the young women agreed to accept such unreasonable loan terms; instead, their comments were scornful. On Twitter, one Beijing reporter tried to persuade others not to blame the victims:
Regarding the 10G naked loan videos, it is meaningless to blame the female college students. They are either foolish and naive or they are seduced by short-term gain. But how we are to deal with the situation? There are so many college students like them and so many people in the society share their traits. The key is to crack the crime and stop the distribution. Of course, these girls have paid the price for their inappropriate behavior and have become a classic case for education.
His post, however, invited more disdain from the comments thread:
Wait. They took the sex tapes just to change their mobile phone, buy clothes and cosmetics. Then they have naked chat to make more money. This is just silly? How do you define simple and naive? They are obviously greedy and stupid, have no self-esteem and self-respect. Whether they are male or female, they don’t deserve any sympathy.
That kind of girl does not deserve sympathy. Give some money and give away nude photos. Will they be good women in the future?
Shouldn’t they pay for their debt? They deserve pity because they are cheated? Are they happy when spending the money?
Very few people criticize the loan culture; Weibo user “Monkey king 8994” is one of the few:
Should punish the loan sharks. They are the criminals. Now, most online lenders are criminals looking for their prey. Once they borrow from them, the nightmare begins.