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China's Evergrande Crisis

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China's Evergrande Crisis

The Wall Street Journal,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

China’s real estate economy is huge, and one of its largest developers is on the brink of default.

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Roughly one-third of China’s $15.6 trillion economy is dependent on the real estate sector. So that makes the problems of Evergrande, one of the industry’s largest entities, particularly troubling for China’s – and perhaps the world’s – economies. Ryan Knutson, host of The Journal podcast, discusses Evergrande’s history, its dizzying expansion and the implications of its debt crisis with The Wall Street Journal’s Asia markets editor, Quentin Webb. Investors and executives will find an insightful analysis in this timely and enlightening conversation.


Real estate plays an outsized role in China’s economy, and Evergrande is a top firm in the industry.

As the third quarter of 2021 closed, Evergrande rattled global financial markets by disclosing that it could miss an upcoming debt payment. Evergrande is one of the biggest real estate operators in an industry that accounts for about one-third of China’s economy. 

The story of Evergrande’s ascent and now downward spiral began around 1996, when the Chinese government deregulated the housing sector to open up homeownership to more citizens. Evergrande founder Hui Ka Yan took an entrepreneurial leap into real estate development, as consumers went on a...

About the Podcast

Ryan Knutson hosts The Journal, “a podcast about money, business and power.” Quentin Webb is the Asia markets editor at The Wall Street Journal.

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