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Former LeEco employee outraged after having credit line suspended by China Construction Bank

Weibo inundated with similar instances from other former colleagues

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 9:33am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 10:56pm

A China Construction Bank (CCB) credit card holder has had his credit line restored, after making complaints publicly on Weibo that his limit by the state-owned bank had suddenly been cut to 1 yuan (15 US cents) triggered by his former employer LeEco’s cash woes.

The incident has stirred discussions on social media on how far financial institutions can go to trim their exposure to the cash-starved tech firm, which is already battling to stay afloat amid a mountain of debt, huge losses and court orders that have frozen its assets.

Bai Yunfei, who worked at LeEco’s listed subsidiary Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp from 2011 to 2013, told the Post he was suddenly informed on Saturday by the Beijing-based bank of the precipitous plunge in his credit line, or the maximum amount of loans that he can spend on the card. Before the cut, he could spend about 70,000 yuan.

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I was outraged when I heard the sudden cut was because Leshi was my employer when I applied for the card,” said Bai, noting that he always repays on time, with common monthly consumption of around of 1,000 to 2,000 yuan on the card.

He said his maximum spent on the card was about 20,000 yuan on overseas travel, not even near the credit line he was granted.

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He said he had questioned the bank on the practise of linking an employer’s business troubles with individual employees, not to mention that he left the firm about four years ago.

He made the issue public on Weibo, China’s Twitter, on Tuesday.

“I am not the only case who got the sudden cut on credit from the bank; some former colleagues have also shared similar problems,” he said.

A China Construction Bank officer familiar with the matter, who declined to be named, said the bank is reviewing some LeEco employees’ creditworthiness as it’s a common means for banks to go through the process if their employer, their main income source, is put in question.

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He said credit quotas would be resumed to normal if no risks are found.

One of the nation’s so-called “Big-four” state-owned banks, now CCB official comment was offered.

LeEco said on Wednesday the firm has been closely communicating with the bank to resolve the issue.

Once a high-flying technology empire, LeEco has businesses spanning smartphones, televisions to electric cars and entertainment.

Sunac chief becomes chairman of troubled LeEco unit

Sunac China chairman Sun Hongbin has poured 15 billion yuan to bail out the LeEco group of companies. Yet the cash injection still hasn’t been enough to solve its cash woes.

The Shanxi tycoon has been appointed the new chairman of Shenzhen-listed Leshi, replacing the group’s founder Jia Yueting.

Additional reporting by Meng Jing

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