- A video collection released on Weibo appears to show desperate Evergrande investors confronting employees.
- In a clip, a woman is seen holding a knife in a boardroom and threatening to commit suicide.
- “My retirement savings are all in that investment. I have nothing left to live for,” the woman can be heard saying.
A video collection circulating this week on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, appears to show desperate Evergrande investors confronting the company’s staff.
In a clip in the collection, one can see a woman picking up a knife in the middle of what appears to be an investor meeting with Evergrande Wealth staff and threatening to kill herself in the meeting room. The video shows about fifty other people in the same meeting room.
“I do not want the interest on my investment, I just want my money back,” the woman can be heard saying as she swings the knife. “So here’s what I have to say to you. If Evergrande Wealth does not give me my money today, I will kill myself right here.”
“If this is not dealt with today, I will die right here, right in front of you,” the woman adds. “My retirement savings are all in that investment. I have nothing left to live for.”
The collection was shared to Weibo on September 29 by local citizen news site Xing Tai Shen Bian Shi, a verified account that has 1.6 million followers on Weibo. Xing Tai Shen Bian Shi did not indicate where in China the videos were recorded and did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Another clip in the video collection shows several people trying to block a vehicle outside an Evergrande office building. It is unclear who was in the car or why investors were trying to prevent the car from going.
“They have to give me an explanation,” one can hear a crying woman say in the clip.
“I have no choice but to do this and I will not listen to you,” the woman says. “All my money is gone.”
Evergrande has more than $ 300 billion in liabilities, making it the most indebted company in the world. Some analysts have called the Evergrande crisis China’s Lehman Brothers after the company’s failure to pay its debt caused tremors across regional and international markets. Beijing is currently working behind the scenes to pull the real estate giant out of danger, but many of its properties, including a $ 1.8 billion lotus-shaped football stadium in Guangzhou, remain partially built.
The crisis extends beyond real estate. The company’s asset management arm, Evergrande Wealth, is also in trouble, and investors fear they will lose the money they drew into its asset management products. The risky, uninsured financial products sold by Chinese banks offer high interest rates, even though their terms are usually opaque, meaning investors may not know which projects their money is financing.
Protests against the company have been going on for several weeks. Reuters reported that on September 13, about 100 investors flocked to the company’s offices in Shenzhen to demand Evergrande return their money. In response, security personnel formed a human chain around the building to keep investors out.
An estimated 80,000 people – including Evergrande staff and their friends and families – own about $ 6 billion of the company’s asset management products.
Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.