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Behind the massive sell-off in Chinese wealth management products

New normal: Brokers find they have to sate different risk appetites

From Nov. 14 to Dec. 16, a net 535.8 billion yuan ($79.2 billion) of bonds were offloaded by wealth management products, according to calculations by analyst Liu Yu at GF Securities Co. (Imaginechina via AP Images)

When Li Ming put around 10,000 yuan ($1,450) in a wealth management product (WMP) in November, he expected nothing short of a foolproof investment. But within a few days, local bond market turmoil led to plunging values of WMPs, which had invested heavily in bonds, stoking panic among retail investors including Li.

"It's supposed to be a low-risk WMP, and I have never taken a loss from such products before," he told Caixin in late November. "I might as well have deposited the money into my bank account."

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