After Kaisa Group Holdings, which mainland developer will be hit by Beijing's anti-corruption crackdown? Exact names would be pure guesswork but analysts say private and small players are more vulnerable, adding that any degree of state backing is a blessing and some private developers such as China Vanke, Dalian Wanda Group and Evergrande Real Estate Group are "too big to fail". "Recent happenings in the property industry have almost confirmed the re-emergence of a trend: the advance of state-owned enterprises and the exit of private firms," said Chen Xiaotian, an industry veteran and research head of mainland consultancy E&H. Chen saw such signs before the full-blown Kaisa crisis in Greentown China Holdings' switch to state-controlled China Communications Construction and Greenland Group's overtaking of Vanke as the country's No 1 developer in terms of sales last year. "With the deepening of anti-corruption efforts, government resources [such as credit and land] tend to flow towards state-owned enterprises," he said. And market resources, too. While many developers had to postpone their debt issuance last month amid heightened worries about a possible default by cash-strapped Kaisa, Sino-Ocean Land Holdings was able to raise US$1.2 billion through guaranteed notes on the domestic market at cheaper prices than its rivals. S&P, Fitch and Moody's gave the issuance investment-grade ratings partly due to its strong shareholder backing from China Life Insurance, the country's biggest insurer and a state-owned company. The dust has yet to settle on Kaisa despite an offer by Sunac China Holdings to buy the 49.3 per cent stake held by founder Kwok Ying-shing's family trust. Many of the Shenzhen-based developer's top management team, including chief executive and chief financial officer, have resigned, damaging investors' confidence. Kaisa is not the first mainland developer to be affected by the anti-graft campaign. State-owned China Resources Land was the focus of market talk in April last year when former executive director Wang Hongkun was detained during a corruption investigation into the former chairman of its parent firm. Agile Property Holdings was not badly affected during the two-month house arrest of its founding chairman Chen Zhuolin when his wife and a brother were put in place to manage daily operations and keep stakeholders updated on developments. Comparing the three companies, S&P corporate ratings director Christopher Yip said the key was to have an established board and risk management. "It really depends on the company itself," Yip said. "The anti-corruption effort does not seem to be targeting any one sector, although property could be of relatively high risk." Tang Jun, the president of Beijing Capital Land, a recent rising star among analysts, said transparency, high-performing management team and a clear strategy to match the country's new development path were the core of the company's competitive edge, although being state-owned helped sometimes. "We have multiple advantages not only due to the state's backing," Tang said last week.