BEIJING: Debt-mired developer Evergrande is struggling to appease angry homebuyers and investors knocking on its doors for money taken on deposit for unbuilt homes and promised returns.
Here’s a timeline of Evergrande’s rise to one of China’s biggest developers and its demise into one of its worst debtors:
1996: the dream begins
Steel worker Xu Jiayin launches Evergrande, targeting millions of middle-class Chinese who are climbing the property ladder across the rapidly urbanizing country.
2009 – 2010: Beginning of expansion
After its IPO in 2009, Evergrande took control of Chinese Super League club Guangzhou, renaming Guangzhou Evergrande and spent billions of dollars on foreign players, helping it win a succession of titles.
The company also dashes into the dairy, grain and oil business and later tries to build an electric car, which sparks a spending spree fueled by debt.
2017: The richest man
Xu becomes the richest person in Asia with a net worth of $ 43 billion.
2018: the central bank raises the red flag
In November, the first signs of trouble appeared when China’s central bank added Evergrande to its list of heavily indebted conglomerates to watch, signaling that a potential collapse could lead to systemic risks.