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Opinion
Shuli Ren

Chinese Developers’ Short-Sighted Games Are Backfiring

Cash-strapped real estate firms’ maneuvers could cause longer-term damage.

A motorist moves past the Riviera Garden residential property, developed by Shimao Group Holdings Ltd., in Shanghai.

A motorist moves past the Riviera Garden residential property, developed by Shimao Group Holdings Ltd., in Shanghai.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

China’s indebted real estate developers are getting desperate. Following the epic defaults of China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd, the nation’s two largest high-yield dollar bond issuers, investor sentiment is understandably fragile. Developers, straining to repay debt, are pulling all stops to get loan extensions. Navigating the treacherous market can test even the cleverest financiers.