By comparing uncollateralized business loans made by a big tech lending program with conventional bank loans, the authors find that big tech loans tend to be smaller and have higher interest rates and that borrowers of big tech loans tend to repay far before maturity and borrow more frequently. This lending program channels credit to small businesses underserved by banks without incurring excessive risks (even during the COVID-19 crisis). The authors highlight several mechanisms—screening, monitoring, convenience, and high interest rates—which work together to serve borrowers’ short-term liquidity rather than long-term financing needs, thereby limiting the lender’s risk exposure.

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About the Seminar Series

Financial market development goes hand-in-hand with economic growth. The development of China’s capital markets in terms of size, regulations, capability, and efficiency has been impressive. China may now even lead globally in some dimensions, notably e-payments systems. Yet, China’s capital markets are still a work-in-progress facing both generic and unique challenges. Other Asian capital markets have even greater uneven development. Some in advanced Asian economies have acquired globally acclaimed reputation and capabilities while various regulatory and structural weaknesses dwarf others. Corporations and investors have been inclined to arbitrage cross-border regulatory and developmental gaps; so the very uneven status of capital markets across Asia is a policy issue for the governments in the entire region and perhaps globally. Analyzing the positive and negative lessons in the functioning of Asia’s capital markets, and identifying reforms and applications of technology that could further improve Asian capital markets’ allocation efficiency, financial inclusion, and forewarning against reforms that might cause problems can benefit practitioners, policymakers and researchers, and can contribute significantly to overall prosperity.

The ABFER and the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute China (BFI-China), in collaboration with National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Department of Economics, CUHK-Shenzhen and Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance (Tsinghua PBCSF), hope to provide a virtual network to benefit researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from Asia and beyond.

All times are listed in China Standard Time. 


Thursday, October 20, 2022

10:00 am–11:00 am

The Big Tech Lending Model

Lei Liu, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Guangli Lu, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen

Wei Xiong, Princeton University

Discussant: Yao Zeng, University of Pennsylvania