The rise and fall of the “richest village in China”

Villas in Huaxi Village, once known as the “richest village in China”, 2008. (SPH)H

Huaxi Village on the verge of bankruptcy, with nearly 40 billion yuan in debt
Huaxi Village was once known as the “richest village in China”, with stories of prosperity and luxury. But a recent video of people queuing in the rain to reclaim and cash out their investments seems to point to a very different reality. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing finds out more.
China’s policymakers have gave the rural revitalization initiative a new level of significance. Huaxi Community in Jiangsu Province, formerly referred to be the “richest village in China,” has made headlines recently, albeit in a contentious manner.
A video of Huaxi locals lining up in the rain went viral last week. It turned out that they had invested their money with the Huaxi Group, which had been founded by the communist party committee of Huaxi Village. However, because their payouts had fallen from 30% to barely 0.5%, they had concerns about the group’s financial stability. There was a run on the Huaxi Group as hundreds of people lined up to receive their principal amounts back because they wanted to cut their losses and pay out.

The accuracy of the video was later confirmed by a village CCP committee spokesperson, who said that investors typically withdraw money at the start and end of the year because of maturing assets. The spokesman also said that Huaxi Village has enough of money available for people to withdraw. because they wanted to cut their losses and pay out.

A view of Huaxi Village, 2009. (ASA Holidays/SPH)

While this seems to be the end of the story, for Huaxi Village — “where everyone lives in a villa and drives a luxury car” — to be thrust back in the spotlight with unsavoury news after a period of quiet does make one lament: what is happening to the “number one village in the world”?


by: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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