“A large crowd of angry Chinese bank depositors faced off with police Sunday, some roughed up as they were taken away, in a case that has drawn attention because of earlier attempts to use a COVID-19 tracking app to prevent them from mobilizing,” the Associated Press reported.
Protestors held up banners and chanted slogans on the steps of the entrance to a branch of China’s central bank in the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province, about 620 kilometers (380 miles) southwest of Beijing.
Sunday, July 10, 2022, people hold banners and chant slogans during a protest at the entrance to a branch of #China's central #bank in #Zhengzhou in central China's Henan Province https://t.co/IG8idB1RAq https://t.co/0EaqcQeIRm pic.twitter.com/C07mq7dR9Q
— WTI Trading Group- 🇺🇸 US Crude Oil Trader🛢️🌎 (@DB_WTI) July 10, 2022
Later footage posted on social media shows protestors clashing with security forces outside of the Chinese central bank.
Protesters clash with security forces outside the Chinese central bank in the city of Zhengzhou pic.twitter.com/NxXbMzLJSF
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) July 10, 2022
Zhengzhou, Henan Province
In Henan province, 400,000 people bought wealth management products from small banks. But these small banks embezzled the money. They can't get it out.
This morning, thousands of depositors came to Central Bank's branch in Henan to protest
— loveworld (@LoveWorld_Peopl) July 10, 2022
While social media posts state the protestors stormed the central bank, some reports suggest the government deployed police to disperse the protestors by force.
The depositors didnt storm. They protested peacefully outside the bank. It is the govt deployed police to disperse the protesters by force.
And it is not bank of china, it is the zhengzhou branch of china ppl's bank (the central bank of china). @Fxhedgers https://t.co/a5hYwrEiWV
— 91 Ultraman (@wurutoraman) July 10, 2022
From the AP:
Video taken by a protester shows plainclothes security teams being pelted with water bottles and other objects as they charge the crowd.
Later videos posted on social media show an unclear number of protesters being shoved forward individually and down stairs by security teams dressed in plain white or black T-shirts. Phone calls to Zhengzhou city and Henan province police rang unanswered.
The protesters are among thousands of customers who opened accounts at six rural banks in Henan and neighboring Anhui province that offered higher interest rates. They later found they could not withdraw their funds after media reports that the head of the banks’ parent company was on the run and wanted for financial crimes.
Voice of America added:
Chinese media have reported that the frozen deposits could be worth up to $1.5 billion and authorities are investigating the three banks.
About 1,000 people gathered outside the Zhengzhou branch of China’s central bank on Sunday to demand action.
Videos and photographs on social media showed depositors waving banners and throwing plastic bottles at approaching security guards who then roughly dragged some of the protesters away.
“I feel so aggrieved I can’t even explain it to you,” one protester, surnamed Zhang, 40, told Reuters.
Zhang said he had been hoping to retrieve about 170,000 yuan ($25,000) deposited with one of the banks, the Zhecheng Huanghuai Community Bank.
Zhang said he had suffered injuries to his foot and thumb and was taken away by four unidentified security personnel at around midday. Security personnel outnumbered protesters by around three to one, he said.
“They did not say they would beat us if we refused to leave. They just used the loudspeaker to say that we were breaking the law by petitioning. That’s ridiculous. It’s the banks that are breaking the law.”