Table of Contents
Asia’s richest man at one point was Hui Ka Yan, founder and chairman of the Chinese real estate firm Evergrande.
The 64-year-old, also known as Xu Jiayin, emerged from a modest background to control a vast economic empire. When he topped the list of Asia’s wealthiest people compiled by Forbes magazine in 2017, his net worth was estimated to be $42.5 billion (£34.8 billion).
He is currently under investigation for alleged “illegal crimes” as his company quakes under the weight of $300 billion (£245.4 billion) in debt.
Who is Hui Ka Yan?
Hui Ka Yan, also known as Xu Jiayin in Mandarin Chinese and born on October 9, 1958, is a millionaire businessman from China. He serves as the Communist Party secretary and board chairman for the Chinese real estate developer Evergrande Group. As of December 2021, Hui was the largest shareholder in Evergrande Group, owning approximately 60% of the company’s stock.
Hui was born into a low-income household in the countryside of Henan province. After completing his undergraduate education in 1982, he spent ten years working in a steel industry. He established the Guangzhou-based Evergrande Group in 1996. The business swiftly became one of China’s biggest and most prosperous real estate developers.
Hui is a contentious individual. His company’s ambitious debt-fueled growth and strong links to the Chinese government have drawn criticism from some quarters. He is also acknowledged for contributing to the creation of China’s contemporary urban environment.
Evergrande Group’s debt default in 2021 led to a crisis in the Chinese real estate industry. Since then, Hui’s wealth has drastically decreased. He is still a significant player in Chinese politics and industry, nevertheless.
Who is Hui Ka Yan in 2023?
Evergrande Group is still led by HuiKa Yan, although it is having trouble surviving. With almost $300 billion in debt, it’s not certain if Evergrande will be able to stay out of bankruptcy.
Hui’s own net worth has likewise significantly decreased. He had a net worth of more than $45 billion and was the richest person in China in 2017. His current net worth is thought to be $3.2 billion.
Hui is still an influential figure in China despite his financial difficulties. He is affiliated with the Chinese government and is a member of the Chinese Communist Party. Hui’s future is uncertain, although he is expected to play a big role in Chinese politics and industry for many years to come.
Evergrande raised $9 billion when it went public on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2009.
Jackson Chan from the financial markets analysis website Bondsupermart claims that Mr. Hui’s “maximum leverage” strategy then gave that growth a boost.
Evergrande expanded quickly, but even more so after Mr. Hui made connections with some of the wealthiest real estate magnates in Hong Kong and the business was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to Mr. Chan.
He received a lot of assistance from these pals, who invested heavily in Evergrande’s stocks and bonds to spur the company’s expansion.
Evergrande’s business strategy involved taking out huge loans and then aggressively marketing unfinished properties. According to its website, the group’s real estate division now has more than 1,300 projects in more than 280 cities around the nation.
More than only real estate, Mr. Hui’s commercial empire has expanded to include wealth management, the production of electric vehicles, and the production of food and beverages.
Additionally, it owns a large portion of Guangzhou FC, the former top football team in China.
Beijing implemented new regulations in 2020 to limit the amount of money that major real estate developers owe.
Evergrande offered its properties at steep discounts as a result of the new regulations in an effort to stay in business. But it is currently having trouble paying its bills.
Its stock market worth has decreased by 99% as a result of the crisis, and Mr. Hui’s wealth has fallen to $3.2 billion.
The trade of Evergrande’s shares in Hong Kong was halted as Mr. Hui, the newest billionaire in China, was under investigation by law enforcement.
Some observers believe that President Xi Jinping’s Common Prosperity policy, which attempts to lessen economic disparity, and the official examination of China’s wealthy elite are related events.
Mr. Hui is “the symbol of extreme wealth, especially with his flamboyant lifestyle, flying around the world in his private jet,” Dexter Roberts, Director of China Affairs at the Mansfield Center at the University of Montana, told the BBC.
Mr. Roberts stated that Mr. Hui was “seen as a natural target” and that “Xi has made clear that extreme wealth, especially when displayed publicly like Hui, isn’t good for the economy and the society.”
Despite the fact that Mr. Hui’s probe has not yet received an official statement, an opinion piece published in the state-run Global Times daily suggested that regular individuals’ concerns were being prioritized.
The paper’s former top editor, Hu Xijin, argued that “minimizing homebuyers’ losses at all costs should be the next biggest consideration in dealing with the Evergrande crisis.”
“We should deal with the matter strictly and in accordance with the law, keep the public informed, and look at how to support the company’s customers as much as possible,” he continued.