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Wuhan Rent Protest Shows Unrest Brewing in China After Lockdown

Dozens of small shop owners protested outside one of Wuhan’s biggest shopping malls to demand a cut in rent, in one of the first signs of unrest since authorities lifted a lockdown at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sitting down about one meter apart, the shop owners on Friday sat or kneeled outside the Grand Ocean Department Store, wearing masks and holding placards as police monitored. A day earlier they chanted “Exempt rental for a year, or refund the lease” in videos uploaded on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo that were quickly censored.