Weidai launches auction platform for used autos

08 Aug 2017

Weidai (微贷网), one of China’s leading peer-to-peer fintech platforms, launched a mobile-only, used-auto transaction platform called Weichepai (微车拍).

The b-to-c platform, which went online on August 8, is a pure auction-style site, and is currently only available on IOS. It has reportedly been in a pre-release testing phase for the past two months. 

Hangzhou-based Weidai is one of the oldest names in non-bank financing in China, having been founded back in 2010. It operates on a model that uses owners’ cars as collateral on small-scale loans. The loans are generally one-month in maturity with an interest rate of (currently) around 11 percent, according to China Money Network

Weidai’s background in auto-related financing makes the move into used autos an intriguing one. The company already has an extensive network of offline inspection sites, something that its competitors, such as Alibaba’s Xianyu (闲鱼, see hereand Yixin Group (易鑫集团, which currently has 68 offline stores but has plans for more than 200) are currently still in the process of building. 

The move marks another datum point in a growing industry in China trend, whereby lending-led institutions are moving into transactions, rather than vice versa. The most successful example of this being Bitauto-owned and Tencent-based Yixin Group, which began life as an auto lending platform last year, but has recently been making a strong push into retail (see here).

The new platform is also a positive indicator for the future of online, used-auto auctions, which have been making a resurgence of late in China. Tiantian Paiche (天天拍), China’s leading b-to-c auction platform for used autos, is patting itself on the back for a very strong start to 2017. The company calculates growth in its total transaction volume in 2017 to date at 300 percent (which we reported on here). 

Tiantian’s auction model is similar to that of Chezhibao (车置宝) and Cheyipai.com (车易拍). Classifieds giant 58.com (58同城, NYSE: WUBA) launched a new auction site for used autos in partnership with the auto-manufacturer joint venture Dongfeng-Nissan (JV), which we reported on here. 

In May 2016 Weidai raised $153 million U.S. in a series C round of financing led by Vision Knight Capital (嘉御基金).

The used-auto market in China is set to eclipse new autos by 2020, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA). Ten million used autos were transacted in China in 2016, a year-over-year increase of ten percent.  

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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.