Most African youths have at some point been exposed to money lending apps that are in surplus on the play store, Personally, I have had times where I tried to get loans, although unsuccessfully. From the controversial Okash to Opay, there is one common denominator, Chinese Billionaire Zhou Yahui.
In Kenya and Nigeria, Okash and Co. are known for threatening users to notify everyone on their contact list when they fall behind on their loan payments The loan app owned by Blue Ridge Microfinance Bank Limited is one of the apps providing quick and collateral-free loans to many Africans.
Zhou Yahui, is famously known worldwide as the founder of Kunlul Tech Co Limited (formerly Bejing Kunlul Tech Co Limited) – one of the largest web game developers in Asia. He established the company in 2008 and served as Executive Director and General Manager up to March 2011 before he assumed the role of chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and finally resigned in 2020 to become the full-time CEO of Oplay Digital Services.
He owns Oplay which owns three Kenyan firms that offer loans through mobile phone apps without any security, and which have all significantly grown since entering the lending business between 2018 and 2019. They are Okash, Opesa and Credit Hela.
OPay, another mobile-money platform also known for its motorcycle-based delivery service in Lagos, Nigeria with a valuation of more than $1bn is also partly managed by Zhou through Opera, a Norwegian company based in the Cayman Islands.
Opay is registered in Hong Kong but with subsidiaries across the globe. It owns Tenspot Pesa Limited which launched the Okash digital lending app in March 2018.
It is through TenSpot Pesa Limited that O-Stream Credit Limited was established on November 4th, 2019, and subsequently launched the third money lending app dubbed Credit Hela.
All these money lending apps have some things in common, blatant personal information violation, harassment, and sky-high interest loans, and now you know who owns them