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Protests intensify at China Evergrande Group offices across the country as the developer falls further behind on promises to more than 70,000 investors. Construction of unfinished properties with enough floor space to cover three-fourths of Manhattan grinds to a halt, leaving more than a million homebuyers in limbo.

Fire sales are pummeling an already shaky real estate market, squeezing other developers and rippling through a supply chain that accounts for more than a quarter of Chinese economic output. Covid-weary consumers retrench even further, and the risk of popular discontent is rising during a politically sensitive transition period for President Xi Jinping. The stress on the credit-market has also spread from lower-rated property companies to stronger peers and banks. Global investors who bought $527 billion of Chinese stocks and bonds in the 15 months through June are beginning to sell.

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