Evergrande’s Xu case should be viewed rationally
Published: Sep 29, 2023 02:19 PM
Evergrande Group Photo: CFP

Evergrande Group Photo: CFP

Due to suspected illegal activities, Xu Jiayin, board chairman of China Evergrande Group, has been placed under mandatory measures by local authorities. Upon hearing this news, my initial reaction was, what will happen to those who have purchased Evergrande properties? This is probably the biggest question for many people. I strongly hope and believe that the actions taken by various regions to ensure the delivery of housing projects will not be affected by Xu's personal fate. Minimizing the losses for homebuyers should be the primary consideration in handling the Evergrande case. 

I would also like to say that private entrepreneurs should view the Xu incident rationally. Running a business carries risks. Failures and setbacks are inevitable. However, Xu and Evergrande's situation should not be viewed from the perspective of "the collapse of a career” or that “the society does not tolerate mistakes." Private enterprise failures are numerous, but the majority of entrepreneurs are safe and sound. Cases involving criminal investigations are rare, especially those concerning renowned entrepreneurs being imprisoned. It is likely that cases involving Evergrande are indeed suspected of illegal activities.

Leaving aside whether Evergrande’s process of excessive expansion involved illegal operations, if we look at the rumors that Xu and his wife Ding Yumei had to adopt a technical divorce on the brink of the company’s bankruptcy, and if it is true, Xu’s moves went against the basic ethics and rule of law, and runs counter to the responsibility and accountability that a controlling shareholder should assume in times of crisis. In the eyes of the general public, this is considered a bad faith effort to dodge accountability. Of course, whether his "asset transfer" is real and whether it constitutes illegal activities will require legal conclusions.

I hope and believe that Xu and senior executives involved in the Evergrande case will be granted full rights to legal defense, allowing the whole of society, especially private entrepreneurs, to understand the truth and know what it is illegal activities they have committed that led to the loss of their personal freedom. 

Evergrande is a massive entity, with at least hundreds of thousands of properties yet to be delivered, which has a significant impact on society. Handling this case strictly in accordance with the law, making sure the public is well aware of what is going on, while implementing necessary remedial measures, will be beneficial in reassuring Evergrande's buyers and increasing the confidence of the public, especially private entrepreneurs, and maintaining the momentum of the already emerging economic recovery.

The author is a Chinese media professional. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn