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Chinese company lived the high life -- until it all came crashing down

Chinese company lived the high life -- until it all came crashing down

When Chen Xue landed a job as a sales team manager at a high-flying Internet startup in May, she thought she was getting in on the ground floor of China’s next e-commerce boom.

And so it seemed. The company, an online lender named eZubao, was going gangbusters, adding tens of thousands of customers a week thanks to promises of high-yield investments — between 9% and 14.6%.

“I saw eZubao’s advertisements on [state-run] CCTV at prime time, so I thought it was a big and competitive company,” said Chen, 33, who was so impressed that she sank the equivalent of about $31,000 into eZubao’s financial products. Most of the money came from her...

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