Since mid to late April this year, many rural banks in Henan province have closed their withdrawal services. Unable to withdraw money, many depositors rushed to the locality to protect their interests. As the flow of people to Zhengzhou—Henan’s capital and largest city—continued to increase, depositors discovered that their health codes turned red as soon as they entered the Henan border. They could only return or be sent to quarantine.

The health codes of depositors turned red abnormally

The health code (personal QR code) is assessed based on the individual’s own health database. The code has three colors: green, yellow, and red. Green code holders will be allowed to operate, yellow code holders must have limited activities, and red code holders are not allowed to operate. Red code refers to people with positive nucleic acid test results or exposed to F0 cases within 14 days.

Lin Ying (pseudonym), from Inner Mongolia, told Da Ji Yuan on June 14 that she arrived in Zhengzhou on the evening of June 12. Lin was also among the depositors affected, and her health code suddenly turned red.

After contacting depositors on a chat group, Liu learned that others had a red code too, but those who didn’t send money had a green code.

Sina recorded another case on June 14. Mr. Deng, a Ha Nam Rural Bank depositor, said that on the evening of June 11, he and several depositors tried scanning at a location in Zhengzhou. Their health code results turn red. After careful examination, Deng discovered that the color variation of the Health Code was not in line with the norm.

According to Sound of Hope, people whose health codes suddenly turn red have a common characteristic: depositors of some rural banks in Henan. Hundreds of such depositors have come to Zhengzhou to protect their interests.

When the health code turns red, the local authorities block depositors immediately.

Another depositor named Wang Yun said to Sound of Hope that, before arriving in Henan, Wang had taken a nucleic acid test and got a negative result. So Wang decided to go to Zhengzhou. When he got there, his code turned red. The local government has asked Wang to return, otherwise, he will be forced to quarantine for 14 days.

Da Ji Yuan quoted Ms. Liu saying: “They (Henan government) won’t let you leave. They will lock you in an old local hotel, won’t let you out, and get you detained. Currently, Zhengzhou has 12 detention sites, such as a library, Qinglong mansion, and hotels. They have informed all the hotels in Zhengzhou, as long as the identity information is recorded, they must lock the person immediately.”

Lin Ying revealed that the Henan government used the “red code” to prevent victims from sending money to protect their interests.

She said: “Now, for the reason of epidemic prevention, the depositor’s information has been transferred to the Epidemic Prevention Office.” Red code people will find it difficult to act. When they arrive in Zhengzhou, the police will immediately send the depositors away.

When depositors arrived on the scene, the people who received them were all low-ranking officials, just reassured a little and did not say their names and positions.

Li Yang (pseudonym), a depositor living in Inner Mongolia, said he has a Class 1 card. This is his third visit to Kaifeng to protect his interests.

Li said that if the depositors just stay in the hotel, the police will find them. “The leader may say some comfort words, advising these depositors to return. Either way, it is using all kinds of tricks to deceive you into leaving Zhengzhou; you just need to leave Zhengzhou. If not, they go after you, restricting your (freedom); wherever you go, they will follow you. This is no different from confinement.”

Li said the incident has been going on for almost two months, and there has been no government announcement. Can depositors be quiet? In addition, the authorities’ attitude and way of working are difficult to understand. Depositors have deposited a lot of money, yet the government has not made a statement.

People could not withdraw their savings, many tragedies happened

Da Ji Yuan said the case involved 5.9 billion dollars, with 400,000 people unable to withdraw their deposits.

According to Lin Ying, the case has many shady secrets, and the authorities have cracked down on activities to protect the victims’ rights. The local police have called people with savings of over 74.5 thousand dollars to maintain stability. “We just want to protect our rights now and we want an announcement, but it’s very difficult. This topic has been searched for five or six times on Weibo. And every time it is on hot search, it is retracted again and the topic is deleted.”

And when they couldn’t withdraw their savings back, tragedy struck, and many fell into despair. Lin recounted the story of a terminal cancer patient who couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Another left a suicide note and ran away because he had deposit all his money for his children, felt embarrassed, and left. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

Lin believes that the authorities’ negligence and dishonesty have worsened the depositors’ situation.

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