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Investors hold loud protest in heart of Beijing – China’s latest political and current affairs news

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summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for July 24, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.
2 months ago
Lucas Niewenhuis

Hundreds — or, judging by videos of the event, thousands — of investors in a troubled company called Shanxinhui (善心汇 shànxīnhuì; lit. “kindhearted exchange”) held an energetic protest on July 24 near Yongdingmen, the location of a gate through Beijing’s demolished city walls due south of the Forbidden City and mere miles from Tiananmen Square. The New York Times has a report (paywall) on the event, and Reuters notes that authorities quickly shut down the road with the protests soon after they started. See here for more videos of the event, or this Chinese language blog post by some of the protestors.

Why are they protesting?

  • The protest was triggered by the arrest of Shanxinhui’s chairman, Zhang Tianming 张天明, and freezing of the company’s funds. The authorities have accused Zhang of defrauding investors in a pyramid scheme.
  • Investors disagree. Many insist that Zhang is honorable, and say that they appreciate the company’s stated purpose of acting as both a charity and an investment program.
  • Protests happen frequently throughout China, primarily over environmental, land-use, and local corruption issues, but the Shanxinhui protests were unusual and significant both for their central location and the relatively affluent nature of the crowd.

By Lucas Niewenhuis
Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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