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Defaults on wealth management products double in China

Investors protest as payments aren't made due to real estate slump

Police control a crowd of investors outside Cedar Holdings Group's offices in Guangzhou on Feb. 10. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

GUANGZHOU -- The woes of China's property market have led to a surge in defaults on wealth management products tied to real estate projects, angering retail investors and hitting an important source of funding for an already cash-strapped industry.

With property sales slowing sharply, 91.7 billion yuan ($14.4 billion) in real-estate-linked trust products failed to pay out dividends owed or otherwise meet obligations last year, double the 2020 total, according to Use Finance & Trust Research Institute. Instruments tied to real estate accounted for more than 60% of trust products in default, up from less than 10% in 2018.

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