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China Tells Evergrande to Prioritize Paying Workers, Suppliers

  • Premier Li says those who delay salaries will be punished
  • Lunar New Year marked by reunions as workers go home
Construction workers near the Emerald Bay residential project developed by China Evergrande. 

Construction workers near the Emerald Bay residential project developed by China Evergrande. 

Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg

China Evergrande Group is prioritizing payments to migrant workers and suppliers as regulators urge the cash-strapped developer to head off any risk of social unrest, according to people familiar with the matter.

Authorities are particularly focused on making sure payrolls are met before the Lunar New Year holidays starting Feb. 1, when thousands of migrant construction workers are due to reunite with their families, the people said, asking not to be named discussing private conversations. Evergrande had 163,119 employees as of June 30 and indirectly supports the livelihoods of many more through its vendors.