Evergrande chair placed under police surveillance - report
The billionaire chair of the embattled China Evergrande Group has been placed under police surveillance, it was reported on Wednesday.
According to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter, Hui Ka Yan was taken away earlier this month and is now being monitored at an unspecified "designated location".
Being under residential surveillance means that Hui, who founded Evergrande in 1996, is unable to leave the location, and is not allowed to meet or communicate with others without approval. China’s criminal procedure law also states that passports and identification cards must be handed to the police.
It is not clear why Hui has been placed under residential surveillance, which falls short of formal detention or arrest, and does not automatically mean that criminal charges will follow.
Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer, has been on the brink of collapse at several points over the last two years. Along with others in the sector, it borrowed heavily to build portfolios but was caught out when Beijing cracked down on the country’s red-hot real estate market.
It currently faces a winding up petition in Hong Kong, which could force it into liquidation. The court hearing, originally scheduled for July, is due to take place on 30 October.
Earlier this month several employees of Evergrande’s wealth management unit were detained on unspecified charges.