The South China Morning Post carried an article about an incident involving a young man who killed the people who were harassing and assaulting him and his mother because she could not repay her debt which included interest at the rate of 10 percent per month. The article resulted in widespread attention on the Internet.
Su Yingxia, a businesswoman in Shandong Province was unable to pay back 135 million yuan (US$19.63 million) an amount which included interest that accumulated at the rate of 10 percent per month on money she borrowed from a private company. On April 14, 2016, 11 debt collectors surrounded her and her 22 year old son Yu Huan and harassed them for over an hour. The debt collectors hurled verbal abuse at them, slapped their faces, and beat them. The mother was sexually insulted in front of her son. According to the eye witness, after the police arrived at the scene, they told the debt collectors that it is fine to try to collect the debt but they can’t beat people up. Then the police just left. Realizing that the police were not going to do anything, Yu Huan grabbed a knife and stabbed four people. One of them died on the way to the hospital and three others were injured. On February 17, 2017, Yu Huan was sentenced to life imprisonment and is currently appealing his case.
The article also disclosed that both the owner of the private firm and the collector who was killed had connections with a gang organization. The private firm was registered in the name of a real estate company but in its operations it sold high interest rate loans and had a debt collection business in which it hired local unemployed people. After the incident, 22 companies in the region came up with over 100,000 yuan (US$ 14,540) in donations to help Su Yingxia with her son’s legal fees because they had had similar experiences and were sympathetic about her situation.
There were over 250 comments posted about the article. People were sad and disappointed. Some expressed anger towards the police for failing to stop the tragedy. Some people praised the South China Morning Post for having the courage to be the first media to cover the story.
Source: South China Morning Post, March 24, 2017