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Finance

China's mobile banks offer 1-second loan decisions in farmland

Alibaba and Tencent utilize troves of data to offer fresh lending

Farmers and microbusinesses that previously had trouble securing loans from conventional banks are reaching out to Alibaba and Tencent for support.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI/GUANGZHOU -- When 38-year-old Li Bencai, owner of a wool-processing factory in China's Hebei Province, traveled to the pastures of Xinjiang Autonomous Region this summer to buy wool, he borrowed money from online lender MyBank, an offshoot of Alibaba Group Holding.

Li borrowed 250,000 yuan ($35,000) of the 1 million yuan he needed to buy 50 tons of wool at an annual interest rate of 12%. Though not cheap, Li says he can still make a profit after he receives payments from apparel and textile companies after shipping the wool this month.

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