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China to Refund Customers Affected by Henan Protest

Image Source: Briefly

Authorities in the Chinese province of Henan say they will begin paying customers whose cash has not been active by a number of small-town banks.

The day before the announcement, a rare protest turned violent in Zhengzhou, Henan’s capital.

According to regional regulators, as of this Friday, payments will be made in phases.

The protestors’ four target banks are not working with a total of 39 billion yuan ($5.8 billion; £4.9 billion) in deposits.

There was an announcement on Monday by the Henan Banking and Insurance Regulatory Bureau and the Henan Provincial Local Financial Supervision Bureau. That payments will be sent to clients through a neighborhood organization under the supervision of the People’s Bank of China.

Customers were urged to get in touch with the association starting at 9:00 local time this Friday (02:00 BST). Some Chinese social media users have, however, criticized the announcement.

People to Protest The Frozen Deposits

On Sunday, hundreds of people went to the city of Henan, Zhengzhou, to protest the frozen deposits. The protest turned violent after a fight with an unnamed group of men.

According to the protesters, the banks froze their deposits in April.  As a result of purported internal system changes but have not contacted them since.

According to accounts in the local media, police were on site for the protest and had asked the demonstrators to disperse.

Videos on social media shows a group of men who were not recognized properly beating up protesters. Also throwing water bottles at them while acting like security officers but wearing plain clothes.

One demonstrator who had been to Henan for the event told BBC Chinese that the demonstrators had been attacked.

In a different statement on Sunday, local police didn’t mention the protests. But they also told that they had arrested “a number of people” with ties to the case and that their investigation into the banks was going well.

The accused have control over several banks in the province through a parent business, say the police.

The deposits of their clients were frozen in April by the Yuzhou Xin Min Sheng Village Bank, Shangcai Huimin County Bank, and New Oriental Country Bank of Kaifeng.

Since then, a lot of customers also have gone to Zhengzhou to try to get their money.

Small demonstrations also began, building to a sizable rally on May 23, when thousands participated before police broke it up.

The COVID-19 tracking app, which is required in many Chinese cities to enter buildings and stores, use public transportation, or exit the city. This has been reported to have problems by certain bank customers who had paid a visit to  Zhengzhou.

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