China's falling real-estate prices trigger protests, clashes
By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- The sharp drop in China's housing prices has led to an outburst of anger among property owners, leading to violent clashes in some cases, according to local media reports Tuesday.
In one case, scores of property owners surrounded a Shanghai sales office of Greentown China Holdings Ltd. (3900.HK) to protest the developer's 25% cut to prices within a five-day period, according to a report on the NetEase (NTES) news portal site 163.com.
Protesters held banners with slogans such as "You cheated us!" and "300,000 yuan [$48,750] worth of assets evaporate within five days -- years of work in vain!" according to photographs of the demonstration posted on the site.
The report quoted a sales manager from Greentown as saying that the price-cut was aimed to boost sales and "cope with competition" from rival China Vanke Co. , the nation's argest residential property developer.
In other Chinese cities, such confrontations between buyers and developers have turned violent.
In the eastern city of Jinan, banner-carrying owners blocked a street to protest another 25% price cut for a local housing development, this one conducted over the space of two weeks, according to the local-government-run Life Daily newspaper.
The protesters clashed with a group of counter-protestors suspected to have been hired by local developers, injuring some of the demonstrators and forcing the police to break up the fight, 163.com said in a separate report.