Home » Guizhou female entrepreneur failed to collect debt from the government and was arrested. Scholar: This may affect the confidence of the market and private enterprises | Lianhe Zaobao

Guizhou female entrepreneur failed to collect debt from the government and was arrested. Scholar: This may affect the confidence of the market and private enterprises | Lianhe Zaobao

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Guizhou female entrepreneur failed to collect debt from the government and was arrested. Scholar: This may affect the confidence of the market and private enterprises | Lianhe Zaobao

Guizhou Female Entrepreneur Owed $42 Million by Local Government Sparks Debate on Debt Criminalization

In a recent development in Guizhou, China, a female private entrepreneur, Ma Yijiayi, has found herself in the midst of a controversy as she is reportedly owed as much as 220 million yuan (equivalent to S$42 million) after undertaking 10 government projects in Liupanshui City in western Guizhou. Despite her efforts to collect debts over the span of eight years, Ma Yijiayi was met with resistance from the local government officials, who ultimately charged her with picking quarrels and provoking trouble, leading to her arrest.

The case has raised concerns about the “criminalization of debts” by local governments, prompting public outcry and scrutiny. In response to mounting pressure, Guizhou officials announced the formation of an investigation team to review the case and ensure accountability for any actions that harm the interests of private entrepreneurs.

According to a report by China Business News, Ma Yijiayi, a 47-year-old ethnic minority entrepreneur, had been working on various construction projects since 2016 but failed to receive the full payment owed to her. The Shuicheng District Government offered to settle the debt for 12 million yuan, but Ma Yijiayi and her attorney rejected the proposal.

The incident has ignited a debate on social media platforms, with questions arising about the transparency and fairness of debt collection practices. The local government countered these claims by stating that a significant portion of the owed amount had already been paid, leaving a balance of around 16.62 million yuan.

In a separate development, the Guizhou provincial government has initiated an investigation into the matter and pledged to address any historical issues that may impact the business environment for private enterprises. The government also emphasized the importance of creating a market-oriented and law-based environment to support the growth of the private economy.

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Meanwhile, experts have highlighted the impact of local officials’ large-scale performance projects on debt accumulation and called for stricter regulations to prevent similar incidents in the future. The case involving Ma Yijiayi comes in the wake of a televised documentary revealing illegal financial practices by former vice chairman of Guizhou CPPCC, Li Zaiyong, further underscoring the need for enhanced oversight in debt management.

As the investigation unfolds, the outcome will likely shape the future landscape for private entrepreneurs and government dealings in Guizhou and beyond. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by businesses operating in a complex regulatory environment and the importance of upholding integrity and accountability in financial transactions.

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