Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

China: Villagers build $2.1M year-end bonus into 'money wall'

By Naomi Ng for CNN
updated 4:06 AM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
Villagers stand in front of a 'money wall' in Sichuan, China waiting to collect their year-end bonus from their investments on 14 January.
Villagers stand in front of a 'money wall' in Sichuan, China waiting to collect their year-end bonus from their investments on 14 January.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Villagers in China's Sichuan province build a $2.1M "money wall" out of year-end bonuses
  • They run a rural co-operative that invests in farmland and hydropower plants
  • The money was heavily guarded before being distributing in time for Chinese New Year
  • Guard: "It was so uncomfortable sleeping on so much money"

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Farmers from a village in southwest China literally turned a multimillion dollar windfall into a wall of cash.

This week, residents of Jianshe village in Sichuan Province took delivery of blocks of money worth 13 million yuan ($2.1 million) in year-end bonuses they had earned from a rural co-operative scheme. Residents had invested in farmland and small-scale hydropower plants since 2010.

Around 340 out of 483 households are shareholders in the small village, which has a population of less than 2,000 people.

Before they could distribute their earnings to individual residents ahead of Chinese New Year, they had the problem of where to store -- and guard -- it.

Chief villager, Jin Hongyuan, told local media he moved the money inside the village committee office after transporting it from the bank on Monday. To keep the money safe, he appointed three villagers to sleep on the banknotes inside the office, while four others stood guard outside.

"We used 800,000 yuan as a mattress, 420,000 yuan as pillows, and put the others aside," Jin told the West China Metropolis Daily.

The following day, the banknotes were moved into the village square and stacked to form a seven-foot long wall and create a $2 million photo opportunity.

Many villagers said they had never seen so much money before.

Building the 'money wall' in Jianshe village  Building the 'money wall' in Jianshe village
Building the 'money wall' in Jianshe villageBuilding the 'money wall' in Jianshe village

Villager Jin Ou, who collected the most dividends from his investments, was delighted to finally get his hands on 300,000 yuan ($49,000) in cash.

"It's so cold, and I've been counting (cash) for the whole day, my fingers are all numb," he told reporters.

The story was an immediate hit with China's legions of Internet users.

One netizen, known as "xiaomili_xiaomi" took to Weibo, a Twitter-like service, to post: "Let's be friends, rich villagers!"

Others asked if they could join in on the investment bonanza and become a member of the rural co-operative.

Unfortunately, the scheme only allows investors who are members of Jianshe village. The only way to join is by marrying into the families, said Jin.

CNN's intern April Ma contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
updated 2:54 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
updated 11:15 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
updated 9:15 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Fri October 3, 2014
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
 A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
updated 8:20 PM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
The massive street rallies that have swept Hong Kong present a major dilemma for China's leadership.
updated 3:07 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
Chinese wine drinkers need to develop a taste for the cheap stuff, not just premium red wines like Lafite.
updated 9:09 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
updated 10:18 AM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
updated 1:38 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
ADVERTISEMENT