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Chinese social media users are in an uproar over the letter Evergrande’s chairman sent to employees, calling him ‘delusional’ and accusing him of ‘cheating’ employees out of money

  • The letter Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin sent to employees has become a trending topic on the country’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo.
  • In the letter, Xu said the real estate developer would soon “walk out of the darkness.”
  • Weibo users called Xu “delusional” and accused him of “cheating” people of their money. 

Chinese social media users on the country’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo, are in an uproar over a letter Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin sent to employees on September 21.

Xu, the head of the beleaguered Chinese real-estate giant, penned the company-wide letter on the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, calling on his 123,276 employees to unite and work hard in the face of adversity. In the memo, Xu said the company would soon “walk out of the darkness.”

Chinese state-linked financial news outlet National Business Daily posted the letter on Weibo. Within 30 minutes of posting, Evergrande became a trending topic on the social media platform. The Evergrande letter topic thread, which is comparable to a subreddit, raked in more than 100,000 comments.

Evergrande, which is on the verge of collapse, has more than $305 billion in liabilities — more than any other company in the world, Markets Insider reported. Its failure to pay off its debts has prompted tremors across regional and international markets, with some analysts calling it China’s “Lehman Brothers” moment.

Some users called Xu “delusional” for not recognizing the real-estate firm’s immense debt load.

“The letter is complete bullshit. Why don’t you return the cash you borrowed?” wrote a Weibo user called TangRui Yaya in a comment on the letter. 

“Pretty interesting coming from a man who cheats people of money and his workers of their salaries,” wrote a Weibo user with the ID Shoudekeliandepangzier, referencing rumors that the company owes tens of thousands of its workers their paychecks. “There’s no reason for him (Xu) to talk so much and give empty explanations.”

According to a recent New York Times report, employees were seen gathering outside Evergrande’s offices in mid-September, demanding their paychecks and bonusesEvergrande did not respond to the Times’ request for comment.

Several Weibo users also questioned the state of Evergrande’s real-estate business, seeking explanation as to what will happen to Evergrande’s half-built properties now that the company is floundering in debt. 

“My aunt bought a unit at one of your properties. I don’t have an answer for her when she asks me what’s going to happen to her apartment. It’s not going to be built, is it?” wrote a Weibo user with the ID TaHuiJingshengBingYuanle in response to Xu’s letter. 

Some social media users went as far as to call for Xu’s imprisonment. 

“I hope this is Xu Jiayin’s last Mid-Autumn festival as a free man. He has to pay for this chaos he’s caused and all the people who have suffered,” wrote a Weibo user with the ID Xiande Henhaoma.

Evergrande and Xu did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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