BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Outstanding loans extended by China's micro-credit companies amounted to 938 billion yuan (144 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of March, data from the central bank showed on Monday.
The volume was down 3.2 billion yuan from the end of 2015.
By the end of March, the number of micro-credit companies in China came in at 8,867, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website.
Micro-lenders largely target small companies and low-income groups in need of capital. In recent years, micro-lending companies have become an important channel for medium- and small-sized firms as well as individuals to access funds.
The central bank report showed east China's Jiangsu Province had 637 small-credit companies by September, the most of any provincial-level region, followed by Liaoning Province and Hebei Province.