IFM Investments Limited provides brokerage, franchise, mortgage management, commercial and fund management services under the Century 21 China Real Estate brand. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dianrong.com – a Shanghai-based online credit marketplace that’s widely referred to as the Lending Club of China.
Founded in 2012, Dianrong.com is an online marketplace connecting lenders and borrowers. As of the end of November 2013, over RMB 100 million ($16.5 million) had been lent through the platform. China’s peer-to-peer lending market value lies somewhere between RMB 20 to 40 billion ($3.3 billion to $6.6 billion) per year and is currently growing at a staggering rate of 300 per cent year on year. The platform states that lenders “earn returns well above those from bank deposits and wealth management products while borrowers pay rates significantly lower than they do to traditional credit institutions.”
Chairman and CEO of Century 21 China Real Estate, Donald Zhang stated:
"This agreement is an important step in Century 21 China Real Estate's ongoing efforts to build out our mortgage credit loans business […] As one of the most influential and trusted financial services platforms in China, Dianrong.com will improve our access to the growing pool of online cash investors. Our ability to connect these creditors with Century 21 China Real Estate's network of asset-backed mortgage borrowers will add value for both partners and our clients."
Soul Htite – CEO of Dianrong.com (Co-Founder and former Head of Technology at Lending Club) – stated:
"Century 21 China Real Estate's leadership in China's primary and secondary real estate markets puts them in an ideal position to connect us with property owners who are looking for more innovative mortgage solutions […] We look forward to deepening our cooperation."
Partnerships and acquisitions of this kind have been tipped to be a key fixture in the development and maturation of the P2P industry. The success and sophistication of platforms such as Dianrong and CreditEase has perhaps flown slightly under the radar in the West due to the general opaqueness and regulatory confusion of the Chinese market. But what this latest news highlights is the highly advanced state of certain participants within the Chinese P2P space.