The 20th National Party Congress has ended but China’s economy does not show any new signs of recovery. The continuous stringent “zero-COVID” policy, coupled with a brutal crackdown have worsened the economic downturn and prompted more and more owners of private real estate giants to flee from the world’s second largest economy.

Apollo News reported that Wu Yajun , the billionaire co-founder of Chinese developer Longfor Group Holdings, recently stepped down as chair of the firm.

Wu was once the wealthiest woman in China and now lives in the U.S. with her twin sons. Her daughter has 43.98% shares of Longfor.

According to a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on October 28, due to age and health reasons, the self-made tycoon handed the reins over to current CEO Chen Xuping who is a company veteran since 2008.

Kanzhongguo , citing Caixin chair Xie Jinhe , noted that Wu’s resignation is not the only case in China’s real estate industry. Before Wu many Chinese property billionaires had already left their positions.

In his Facebook post, Xie said that Soho China founders Pan Shiyi and his wife were the first to flee to the United States. After the two left, the company’s stock prices immediately dropped from an already low $0.61 to $0.14.

Then came Yang Guoqiang of Country Garden with his daughter Yang Huiyan. The Chinese tycoon decided to run away while his firm’s debt exceeded $255 billion.

In addition, billionaire founders Xu Rongmao of the Shimao Group and Li Silian of R&F Properties have also departed. 

Xie noted that R&F is a blue chip company in China’s property sector, with an annual profit of more than $1.4 billion (10 billion yuan) in the last few years. But its shares have recently plunged from $3.04 to $0.14 after Li left.

Those who stayed behind, including China Evergrande’s Xu Jiayin and Wang Jianlin of the Wanda Group, would likely be unable to escape even if they wanted to.

In the past few days, Xie noticed that most Chinese developers are carrying huge debt, with stock prices tumbling by 80% to 90% and having very low market value.

Xie commented that these insolvent firms would have gone bankrupt a long time ago in a standard economic system. But in China, they are still supported under its special economic framework.

These Chinese real estate moguls’ profits don’t come from company operations, but rather from having good political and business connections. 

However, since the communist regime’s harsh clampdown, this loophole created massive debt for private developers. Wang was the first to suffer, and now is Xu.

Under the regime’s abnormal economic system, private companies cannot collapse but always sell their assets to survive. When those firms reach their limits, they will try to run away. 

The latest escape of the billionaire co-founder of Longfor Group Holdings Wu could likely trigger ripples in China’s property market in the time ahead. 

Additionally, Zhao Ting , a Shanghai-based real estate broker, told Radio Free Asia that local homeowners are selling luxury properties at 30% to 40% lower than the market price. 

Another agent named Zhou Ning in Hubei claimed that many wealthy people in big cities such as Wuhan , Shanghai , Beijing , Jiangsu , and Zhejiang have also recently started selling their assets. 

Regarding China’s economic slowdown, Da Ji Yuan , citing director of the Taipei Bureau of Japan’s “Industrial Newspaper” Akio Yaita, reported that China’s stock market will end sooner or later.

Akio pointed out that the communist regime no longer follows reform and opening up but tends to move toward the goal of “ruling the country.” Moreover, the regime will likely return to the Mao Zedong era in which no stock markets existed.

Fan Shiping , a professor at the Department of East Asian Studies at National Taiwan Normal University, believes that the CCP’s current backward approach will undermine its economy and the Party’s civil service system.

The Taiwanese professor further explained that Party members will gradually realize they can no longer follow the current path for promotion, for oil and water corruption.

This will, in turn, provoke revolution and eventually Party infighting in the end as other members do not want to take this same path. 

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