Mainlanders keep up protest at DCHL after losing huge sums of money

Gates kept closed at Beijing's liaison office as angry mainlanders gather for a fourth day

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 4:29am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 12:01pm

Dozens of mainlanders rallied outside the central government's liaison office yesterday morning on the fourth consecutive day of protests against Digital Crown Holdings HK (DCHL).

The protesters, who claimed to be victims of the Asian chain's controversial multilevel marketing scheme in Hong Kong, want compensation for the money they spent on the distributor's health and beauty products.

The liaison office kept its Des Voeux Road West gates closed as the protesters chanted in Putonghua outside: "Down with DCHL" and "Central government, help us, please".

One protester claimed he had since 2011 invested HK$800,000 in the firm's products, including jewellery and fragrance. A teacher before he joined the scheme, the man said most of the money he invested was borrowed from relatives and loan sharks, and he now had debts of HK$500,000.

"I don't dare to go home now," he said. "My brothers don't want to see me any more and my parents had a row and are now separated because of me."

Another protester said she and others had slept on the streets for days because they had lost all their money. She said she was introduced to the scheme by a friend in May and discovered it may be a scam only after a Hong Kong couple who ran the firm were arrested in August.

"I was told I would get at least HK$10,000 a month in the beginning," she said. "We bought products from the company and were told to resell them, but they turned out to be things that were not at all valuable."

One man said he spent tens of thousands of dollars on what he was told was sapphire jewellery, but it turned out to be made of glass and worth just HK$1,000.

Meanwhile, some 100 protesters continued their occupation of DCHL's office in Causeway Bay, which began on Wednesday night, vowing to take the case to the Consumer Council today. About 80 people have registered for a refund of HK$67,000 each offered by DCHL. But the firm gave no details of the offer and it has since been uncontactable.

Video: Mainland Chinese protest against a Hong Kong beauty product company, claim to be cheated