China protests by Fanya Metal Exchange investors

Chinese policeman at the protest 21 September 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Chinese police quickly broke up the protest

Hundreds of Chinese mineral investors have protested in Beijing, alleging they have been defrauded.

They claim to have lost money after investing in the Fanya Metal Exchange in the city of Kunming.

Hundreds of thousands of people have invested billions in products offered by the exchange as the values of rare metals rose in recent years.

China's recent stock market collapse has caused prices to fall and investors to demand their money back.

However, the exchange's funds have been frozen because of a liquidity issue. Many of the investors are ordinary people, who believed the company's promise of big returns on investments.

An unidentified employee told the Reuters news agency that there had been "a run" on the exchange. However, they claimed it was still operating normally.

Protests on this scale are unusual in Beijing. Police quickly broke up this demonstration, but it can be seen as a symptom of China's economic slowdown.

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On its website, Fanya claims to have a turnover of 325bn yuan ($51bn; £33bn).

Protesters claim that they were not adequately warned of the risks involved.

"We were protesting today because we have no other option and no one has responded to our complaints," one investor turned protester told Reuters.

There have already been demonstrations against Fanya in other Chinese cities.

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