Recently, banks across Shanghai shut down automated teller machines (ATM) transactions, alleging a virus spread via cash.

Currently, long lines of people are queuing up in front of banks in Shanghai. Some netizens worry about a wave of mass withdrawals in the future and criticize the banks for intentionally creating panic.

In one video posted by the media channel “Revealing the Truth” (在野說) (Zaiyeshuo), a man outside the CITIC Bank of China said: “Currently, people cannot use ATM machines from banks. They said money has viruses! Don’t think money has viruses, but people have viruses. Bless me. CITIC bank of China!”

Zaiyeshuo’s video said that some banks in Shanghai stopped operating ATMs because of the virus in cash on June 7. Each bank only provides ordinal numbers to 300 for customers to line up to withdraw money.

Images at the scene show that the bank asked people to provide the results of the nucleic acid test within 72 hours. The cameraman advised people to withdraw cash quickly and keep it at home, as there could be a sudden withdrawal of deposits causing financial disorder. There could be a wave of withdrawals from nationwide banks in the future.

Sound of Hope quotes netizen’s angry comments: “Does ATM withdrawal have viruses, so, does withdrawal directly in the counter have viruses? Only you who are viruses feel other things have viruses, right?”

Some other videos showed people lining up in front of many banks in Shanghai.

A statement posted by the China Construction Bank said that only a few customers were allowed to go inside simultaneously to check QR codes and nucleic acid. 

The video of the media channel “Revealing the Truth” (在野說) (Zaiyeshuo) shows, in front of the China Construction Bank, a man saying: “When you go to the bank, you have to wait in line for an hour at the gate. It’s amazing that only six people can enter the bank! I don’t know what the rules are! People make rules.”

Sound of Hope quoted some people lining up outside the Construction Bank: “There are more people lining up in the bank than people lining up for nucleic acid tests.”

“Lining up everywhere.”

“The depositors queue long to withdraw money, and the economy may still be difficult for ordinary people in the future.”

“That’s outrageous: owners can’t get money. Are banks running out of money?”

“The bank is full of money and cannot serve customers. China’s economy is really good.”

This is not the first time this kind of incident is reported. On May 28, Nikkei Asian said that protests broke out in China after several rural banks prevented customers from withdrawing their savings in late April, stoking fears of a greater credit crisis without intervention from financial authorities.

At least three institutions based in Henan Province—Yu Zhou Xin Min Sheng Village Bank, Shangcai Huimin County Bank and Zhecheng Huanghuai Community Bank—have frozen a total of 1.49 billion dollars in deposits, according to Chinese reports. One million customers are allegedly affected.

According to Reuters, these 3 banks froze all deposits on April 18, and all of them told customers that they were upgrading the internal system. Banks have not made any announcements on the issue since then, depositors said.

In Shenzhen recently, the issue of withdrawing money from banks is also difficult to handle, causing depositors to panic and rush to withdraw their savings.

On May 30, a netizen in Shenzhen posted a video revealing that the withdrawal operation of Shenzhen Thap Yen (Shiyan) bank of China is complicated. 

Each day, this bank has only two doors with reception staff to serve the customers who line up at the bank at 6 or 7 am. The bank opens at 9 am, and, at 10 am, it announces the suspension of transactions. In the video, we can see long lines of people lining up outside banks and in the street.

Times News said that another Internet user posted a complaint on May 30 that the Bank of China’s Guanlan Branch has frozen his account for no reason, and revealed that he was just a student and used bank cards for daily consumption.

He wrote: “It’s useless to call the Bank of China’s customer care department several times, and I failed when I went to the local branch to ask for an account opening. I needed to go to Shenzhen to open an account, but I was far away from Shenzhen, it wasted my time and energy. The incident affected my normal life and my mental state.”

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