China: Unrest risk from internet financial fraud rise

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January 24, 2016

Internet financial fraud emerged as a major source of protest on the mainland last year and if not handled properly carries a greater risk of creating unrest than grievances in other areas, according to a report by the Guangdong-based University of Jinan.

The Jinan University report raised the case of a series of protests among investors sparked by alleged fraud at the Fanya Metals Exchange based in Yunnan province. The case involves 40 billion yuan (HK$47 billion) placed by 220,000 investors from 20 provinces, it said, citing the mainland-based newspaper the Securities Daily. A protest staged on September 21 last year saw more than 1,000 people gather outside the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, the department responsible for handling petitions to the government.

Internet financial fraud was especially notable as it involves huge amounts of money among a large number of people spread across the country and it has only recently come to the fore, the study said.