China’s Mutual-Fund Stars Go From Boom to Backlash

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China’s $3 trillion mutual-fund industry drew throngs of individual investors in thrall to market-beating star managers.

But the Chinese market has slumped, dragging the funds down with it, and the stars who were once heroes are now targets of online ire.

Li Qiushi, an English teacher in Beijing, began buying funds in September because friends and relatives were constantly discussing the topic. She sold most of her holdings in March at a loss.

“Everyone is just a bunch of leeks,” Ms. Li said, using Chinese internet slang in which people who have been duped are said to have been harvested like leeks.

“I take it that I’ve spent money to buy some experience,” the 32-year-old said. “Perhaps it’s better to know more about investing before dabbling in mutual funds.”

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