ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Hui Ka Yan was once one of China’s richest and most influential titans, bridging the worlds of business and high-level politics.
These days, the China Evergrande Group chairman’s fortune is considerably diminished. He is down to about USD3 billion from USD42 billion, which once made him the second-richest person in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
China’s five richest property tycoons lost about USD65 billion combined in the past two years, the index shows.
Hui is also finding himself increasingly isolated politically, with the latest signal coming from the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an elite group comprising government officials and the biggest names in business.
Hui had been part of the political advisory body since 2008 and of its elite 300-member standing committee since 2013, but he was told not to attend the annual convention last year as his property empire became the biggest casualty of the nation’s credit crunch. Now he is not even included on the latest list released on Wednesday of those who will form the CPPCC for the next five years.
While his exclusion is striking given the position he once held, Hui has lots of company.
Shimao Group Holdings’ Hui Wing Mau, Guangzhou R&F Properties co-founder Zhang Li and Hoi Kin Hong of Powerlong Real Estate Holdings are among the property magnates no longer part of the CPPCC.