‘Get our money back!’: Evergrande investors protest as Chinese police protect offices of giant real estate company

Demonstrators in front of the Evergrande International Center in Guangzhou, January 4, 2022 (Reuters/David Kirton)

Investors in financial products issued by the Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Group Protest outside the cash-strapped company’s offices in Guangzhou on Tuesday, and Many feared sacrificing their profits to keep real estate projects afloat.

Members of the crowd of nearly 100 shouted “Evergrande, give us our money back”, chanting a hymn used by disgruntled investors and suppliers last fall when their deteriorating financial position became apparent.

on Friday, Evergrande has announced a review of its plans to compensate investors for its wealth management products, declaring that everyone can expect to pay 8,000 yuan ($1,256) per month for three months starting in January, regardless of how long their investment is.

Once China’s most sought-after developer, but now reeling with nearly $300 billion in commitments, Evergrande previously agreed to a 10% refund at the end of the month when the product expires, without specifying an amount.

The change sparked investor fears that they would not get their money back.

“I think it’s useless, I’m afraid, but if we don’t fight for our rights, it’s worse”And A retired woman surnamed Du, who was outside Evergrande’s offices in the southern Chinese city, said she had invested 1 million yuan (about $150,000) in Evergrande wealth management products.

“The economy is not good at the moment, they are normal people and they need this money for the kids, to support their parents.“, He said.

Police in front of the real estate giant's headquarters (Reuters/David Kirton).
Police in front of the real estate giant’s headquarters (Reuters/David Kirton).

China Evergrande did not respond to a request for comment on the protest or investor concerns.

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at noon, About 60 protesters surrounded columns of security personnel. Videos circulating on WeChat groups showed several people being held at the scene.

afternoon, time A group of the remaining 20 protesters were asked to leave a street near the Evergrande officesMeanwhile, security officials arrested and took statements from at least three people who tried to describe their experiences to a Reuters reporter.

High yield Gucci bags

Attracted by the promise of returns close to 12%And gifts like air purifiers Dyson and bags GucciAs a guarantee of China’s most sought-after developer, tens of thousands of investors have purchased wealth management products through Evergrande.

A pole was placed to prevent protesters from entering the company's headquarters.  (Reuters/David Kirton)
A pole was placed to prevent protesters from entering the company’s headquarters. (Reuters/David Kirton)

More than 80,000 people, including employees, their families and friends, as well as owners of Evergrande property, have purchased products that have raised more than 100 billion yuan. ($15 billion) in the past five years, said a sales manager for Evergrande Wealth, which launched in 2016 as an online (P2) lending platform that was originally used to fund its real estate projects.

‘We are worried that we will be sacrificed’A 34-year-old protester who works in e-commerce said she would give her name only as Sophie, for fear of reprisals from the authorities.

“It’s OK for guys like me, we can still get it back, but I worry about seniors putting everything in it.“, He said.

So said the protesters and members of the groups of messengers to whom Evergrande owes money The police told them not to cause trouble And that they saw their chat groups blocked.

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Sophie said police have brought her to the station four times since she joined protests at the Evergrande headquarters in nearby Shenzhen in September.

“We don’t know what happens to our money, but we are expected to be silent, it’s not right”, He said.

(With information from Reuters)

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