China Evergrande’s Hui Ka-yan, once China’s richest man, has seen his wealth dwindle as developer’s prospects sour
Hui Ka-yan suspected of crimes subject to ‘mandatory measures’ by Chinese authorities as property giant struggles under massive debt pileHui’s empire reportedly included superyacht and London’s most expensive homeChina Evergrande GroupChad Brayin LondonPublished: 9:00am, 1 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP
Born in a rural village in central China’s Henan province, Hui Ka-yan, the founder and chairman of troubled developer China Evergrande Group, rode a wave of market reforms in China’s property market over the past three decades to become, at one point, the country’s richest man.
The 64-year-old former steel mill worker amassed a vast empire that included China’s richest professional football club, a superyacht once valued at US$60 million and reportedly the most expensive home in London.
However, Hui, who is known as Xu Jiayin in the mainland, has seen his personal wealth dwindle in the past two years as the Shenzhen-based property developer has struggled under a suffocating pile of debt, which the company said totalled US$327 billion at the end of June.
On Thursday, Evergrande, now the world’s most indebted developer, confirmed that Hui was suspected of crimes by Chinese authorities and was placed under so-called mandatory measures, which can include house arrest. This followed the arrest of several top executives in its wealth management business earlier this month.
Indebted China developer giant Evergrande downplays impact of staff arrests in Shenzhen
Indebted China developer giant Evergrande downplays impact of staff arrests in ShenzhenIt is a dramatic downfall for the billionaire, who regularly played poker with some of China’s biggest property magnates and was one of the assembled dignitaries alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping overlooking Tiananmen Square in Beijing just two years ago at a celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary.