Surprise, Surprise SURPRISE! Don’t be too shocked, BUT there seems to be……….gasp……..financial fraud in China. Gee, with cheap copies and brand “knock offs” around for years it would only to be expected that the easy money would be in online investing. So, online investing it is. Seems like promising high returns, pushing hot new concepts and doing lots of advertising brings in tons of money from vulnerable investors. Its no wonder that we hear of Chinese regulators constantly coming down on bitcoin exchanges, stock offerings, etc etc. But hey, if the Chinese are so smart, why do they keep falling for these “scams”? Ha, never happen here in the US, right?
(Bill Taylor/Founding Editor)
SHANGHAI — The company’s name appeared in ads for the local marathon. Its logo was emblazoned on the jerseys of two professional soccer teams in Spain. Its founder had been lauded by the government’s official television channel.
To investors, it seemed like a safe bet. For years, it was. Then some of them tried to take their money out.
Now as much as $5 billion is missing, the head of the company is in jail and in one city, angry investors took to the streets.
Online investing in China isn’t for the vulnerable or the naïve — but frequently, that’s exactly who it draws. The flameout last week of the popular online investment portal Qianbao is the latest in a string of collapses that has devastated small investors and prompted Beijing to take steps to tamp down on potential unrest.
The pitches frequently appeal to aspiring small investors like Walter Xu, a recent university graduate who was drawn to Qianbao by promises of sky-high returns. Qianbao looked like a real business: Its portal sold cellphones and appliances — with discounts for members — as well as big returns for those who gave it money. In exchange for depositing money, watching ads and writing reviews, it offered returns of as much as 50 percent. In all, Mr. Xu invested $32,000 of his savings in Qianbao…”