(Yicai Global) Dec. 1 -- Pinganfang.com, the real estate e-commerce platform of Chinese insurance giant Ping An Insurance (Group) Company Of China [SHA:601318], has been involved in an overseas crowd-funding project fraud, the Securities Times reported today. The platform has hired lawyers for its clients to help protect their rights, it said.
Bar Works, a co-working startup founded in 2015, claims to provide office space for entrepreneurs and freelancers through crowd-funding, and promises annual returns of between 12 percent and 15 percent to investors. However, in June this year, The US Securities and Exchange Commission launched a number of fraudulent charges against it, believing that the company illegally raised USD36 million for investors.
Pinganfang is one of the agents for the sale of Bar Works product. After becoming aware of the default of the project, the company communicated with customers in time and paid lawyer fees on behalf of them, the platform said. The case is now being investigated by the US judiciary, and investors need to wait to claim compensation until the end of the probe, the report added.
Regarding rumors of problems about other overseas crowd-funding projects on the platform, Pinganfang confirmed that the projects in the US continue their operations.
Pinganfang, founded in 2014, is now the largest real estate e-commerce platform in China. Ping An is one of the largest comprehensive financial services groups in China, with total assets reaching CNY5 trillion (USD756.5 billion).