Anjuke teams up with personal credit provider Fyxin

12 Jul 2017

Anjuke (安居客), China’s leading property listings site and a subsidiary of classifieds conglomerate 58.com (NYSE: WUBA), signed a partnership agreement with Fyxin.com, a provider of financial services.

Founded in 2007, Anjuke joined the 58.com family in 2015, when it was acquired for $267 million U.S.. Anjuke handles buying and selling of property, rentals, commercial listings, and overseas properties.

Fyxin (房易信), which is backed by IBM and Xinyuan Real Estate (鑫苑集团, NYSE: XIN) is a third-party credit provider to individuals. It’s proprietary technology, based in blockchain, helps to match borrowers with over 1,000 lending products in China’s massive, and oversaturated, non-bank lending market.

With 58.com’s backing, Anjuke established itself as the market leader over the past year, with 3.6 million monthly active users (MAU) in March. That was well ahead of Fang (搜房网/房天下) with 1.6 million MAU, and Lianjia (链家) with 1.6 million MAU, according to Trustdata. The Shanghai-based listings platform already sports a home-loan calculator, and it’s likely that Fyxin will contribute its know-how moving forward.  

Fyxin only went live in April, and by June (three months later – editor) it was already celebrating total credit extension to individuals of 100 million RMB ($14.7 million U.S.). Users of Fyxin can apply for personal loans of up to 500,000 RMB and mortgages of up to 50 million RMB ($7.3 million U.S.). 

Fyxin stands at the nexus of a few worrying debt trends in China. On one hand, short-term loans are spiraling rapidly. On the other hand, non-bank and non-financial institution lending – shadow banking essentially – is also exploding. The two trends are mutually reinforcing.   

According to figures for H1 of 2017 from Bank of China, released yesterday, Renminbi lending in China reached 8 trillion – 436 billion RMB more than in H1 of last year. Of this, household debt climbed to 3.8 trillion RMB, driven by a rapid increase in home loans. The household debt-to-GDP ratio hit an all-time high of more than 45 percent in Q1 of 2017.

China’s household debt as a proportion of GDP has more than doubled to 40.7 percent in less than ten years. Bank of China only recently began disclosing what it calls “total social financing” (TSF or 社会融资) figures. TSF includes off-balance sheet financing outside of the conventional, bank-lending system. This includes activities such as initial public offerings, loans extended by trust companies and bond sales.

Reuters describes it as a “hint at trends in China’s vast, shadow-banking sector.”

China’s TSF rose to 1.8 trillion RMB in June from 1.1 trillion RMB in May. A caveat: month-on-month figures have been known to fluctuate considerably in the past.

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Tom Marling

Tom is a PhD candidate in Chinese History at Hong Kong Baptist University, and former PR consultant in Mainland China. He joined the AIM Group in 2016 as a writer/analyst.