Mainland China protesters return to multilevel marketing firm DCHL

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 5:16am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 4:39pm

Mainlanders who say they were ripped off by a controversial multilevel marketing company yesterday returned to its Causeway Bay offices to demand their money back.

About 30 people from cities including Shenzhen and Zhuhai gathered at the offices of Digital Crown Holdings (DCHL) yesterday afternoon, a month on from a five-day rally at the firm's sales centre. They said about 100 mainlanders were in Hong Kong to make their voices heard.

"I invested 200,000 yuan [HK$253,000]. Some people invested up to a million yuan. We are here to demand our money back," one protester said.

They claim the company encouraged them to buy goods including wine and health products and serve as distributors. They were promised rewards through a complex system based on seniority as they signed up other distributors. But they say they never received any commission and the products they bought had no resale value. Such schemes are illegal on the mainland but not in Hong Kong.

In late October, police with riot shields kept protesters out of the office. The rally broke up on November 2 with DCHL promising each protester HK$67,000. But they say they have yet to receive anything.

Last week, 30 former DCHL distributors in the city of Zhaoqing , Guangdong, were banned by authorities there from entering Hong Kong after taking part in the earlier rally.

"The ban is still effective. We have not been told that the ban was removed," one of them said yesterday by telephone. Protesters in Causeway Bay yesterday had not heard of any such ban but were not surprised by it.

DCHL did not respond to requests for comment last night.