- A video compilation posted on Weibo appears to show desperate Evergrande investors confronting employees.
- In one clip, a woman is seen holding a knife in a boardroom and threatening to kill herself.
- “My retirement savings are all in that investment. I have nothing left to live for,” the woman can be heard saying.
A video compilation circulating this week on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, appears to show desperate Evergrande investors confronting the company’s staff.
In one clip in the compilation, a woman can be seen picking up a knife in the middle of what appears to be an investors’ meeting with Evergrande Wealth staff and threatening to kill herself in the meeting room. The video shows roughly fifty other people in the same meeting room.
“I don’t want the interest on my investment, I just want my money back,” the woman can be heard saying as she brandishes the knife. “So here’s what I have to say to you. If Evergrande Wealth doesn’t give me my money today, I’ll kill myself right here.”
“If this isn’t handled today, I’ll 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 compilation 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 specify where in China the videos were recorded and did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Another clip in the video compilation appears to shows several people attempting to block a vehicle outside an Evergrande office building. It is unclear who was in the vehicle or why investors were trying to prevent the car from leaving.
“They have to give me an explanation,” a crying woman can be heard saying in the clip.
“I don’t have any choice but to do this, and I won’t 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 moment after the company’s failure to pay off its debts 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 wealth management arm, Evergrande Wealth, is also in trouble, and investors fear they will lose the money they funneled into its wealth management products. The risky, uninsured financial products sold by Chinese banks offer high interest rates, though their terms are usually opaque, meaning investors might not know what projects their money is funding.
Protests against the company have been going on for weeks. Reuters reported that on September 13, around 100 investors poured into the company’s Shenzhen offices to demand Evergrande return their money. In response, security personnel formed a human chain around the building to keep the investors out.
An estimated 80,000 people — including Evergrande staff and their friends and families — hold around $6 billion worth of the company’s wealth management products.
Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.