China’s first P2P lender Yirendai loses CEO to JD.com amid mounting regulatory pressure

The platform’s shares have dived more than 80% in two years.

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JD Digits, the fintech arm of Chinese e-tailer JD.com, has poached Yirendai former CEO Fang Yihan away, the company confirmed with KrASIA on Sunday. Fang has joined Dongrich as its CEO.

Dongrich is JD Digits’ subsidiary that provides wealth management products for affluent Chinese families.

After a decade of working experience in the United States, Fang returned to China in 2011 and joined Beijing-based CreditEase, a Chinese fintech conglomerate, to lead a project the eventually gave birth to Yirendai, China’s first peer-to-peer lending platform. In four years, Fang and her team took Yirendai to the NYSE in 2015.

In the middle of this year, Fang resigned from her position for personal reasons as CEO of Yirendai, the company announced in its earnings release in July. Tang Ning, founder and CEO of CreditEase, filled in since then.

Yirendai said, in the same earnings release, that it has finished all transactions to buy assets from its parent company CreditEase and rebranded itself as Yiren Digital, which would include two main businesses — Yiren Credit and Yiren Wealth, catering to P2P lending and wealth management clientele respectively.

However, the rebranding the restructuring moves have not overturned the declining streak of Yirendai’s stock prices. Yirendai slid from USD 12.03, the closing price on July 9, one day prior to the earnings announcement, to close at USD 7.08 last Friday. Furthermore, Yirendai’s share prices have dived more than 60% from one year ago and 80% from two years ago.

Fang’s departure with Yirendai comes at a time when the company is under pressure from China’s increasingly heightened regulation in P2P sector, where players are supposed to cut the size of outstanding loans, the number of borrowers and investors.