Evergrande rage erupts on Chinese social media as ‘blood-and-sweat money.’
As rare images of protests and public outrage were broadcast across a tightly restricted internet, China’s social media was inundated with conversations about the impending demise of housing behemoth Evergrande.
This week, videos of angry protestors flooded the popular Weibo and WeChat sites, with homebuyers using social media to share information and plan future protests.
One user commented in a post calling for supporters to congregate at Evergrande’s Shenzhen headquarters, “The more people there are, the stronger our power, this is our blood-and-sweat money.”
The topic does not appear to have fallen under the heavy hand of censorship in a country where demonstrations are quickly squashed with authorities working to maintain stability above all else. As worried investors and creditors across the country demand money owed to the developer, the topic does not appear to have fallen under the heavy hand of censorship.
Some people who claimed Evergrande had abused them posted invites to “rights protection” chat groups on Weibo and updates about protests.
Meanwhile, photographs of a mob of people in southwest Chengdu holding placards that said “Evergrande Fraud” were extensively circulated on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, which is similar to Twitter.
As the Hong Kong-listed developer warned it might not be able to pay its obligations, discussion threads erupted with hundreds of millions of views and comments, as well as images and videos of the protests.
The situation has sparked fears of a default, which could send shockwaves across the world’s second-largest economy.
Allowing the photographs to remain online might be due to a lack of power to clamp down – given the size of the situation – or a lack of willingness, according to analysts.
Evergrande’s crisis is impossible to ignore because of its “sheer magnitude” – and Beijing may believe that pictures of nasty confrontations between investors and firm personnel can serve as a warning tale for other corporations, according to Hong Kong-based politics writer Willy Lam.
In China, small rallies against businesses and local governments are common, with individuals gathering to vent their dissatisfaction with matters ranging from unrefunded shared bike deposits to forced demolitions of countryside cottages.
According to Adam Ni, co-editor of the China Neican weekly, “property and land-related protests are actually rather prevalent in China.”
China’s normal response is to “defuse the situation in order to prevent the protests’ repercussions from spreading,” he said, which can include making concessions or arresting protest leaders.
According to Larry Ong of SinoInsider, Beijing is likely trying to gain time while dealing with Evergrande, but it may eventually lose. Brief News from Washington Newsday.