Hui Ka-yan, one of China’s wealthiest tycoons and chairman of the world’s most indebted real estate developer, made his first public appearance since July to assure the public that China Evergrande Group was able to complete its property projects. Hui, also known as Xu Jiayin in mainland China, appeared in the centre of a photograph with Evergrande’s senior executives, where eight vice-presidents signed a guarantee to deliver the company’s projects to customers, according to a September 1 blog post on the company’s official social media account on WeChat. “Everyone in the company, led by chairman Hui, has made the pledge,” the Shenzhen-based company said. “We are determined to ensure the quality of our construction, and make sure that we deliver quality projects in quantity at full stretch and by any means possible.” The social media post followed Hui’s warning on Tuesday that Evergrande, owing a record 1.97 trillion yuan (US$305 billion) in debt, loans and contractual obligations to suppliers, faced risks of defaults and legal action . The company’s interim profit fell 29 per cent to 10.49 billion yuan, as revenue declined 17 per cent to 222.7 billion yuan, Evergrande said. Its electric car-making subsidiary published a first-half loss of 4.8 billion yuan on the heels of a US$75 billion plunge in market capitalisation , which puts its production debut further beyond reach . “The [Chinese] government cares a lot about ensuring that homes that have been sold are actually delivered to customers,” said Dai Ming, a fund manager at Huichen Asset Management in Shanghai. “Failure to deliver would cause public outcry and affect social stability. Evergrande now has to prioritise its delivery.” The property industry has come under particular scrutiny as the ruling Communist Party marks its centenary and prepares to head into a crucial conclave process to select its next crop of leaders. The housing ministry on Tuesday announced an unprecedented move to cap urban rents to rein in runaway housing costs and ensure affordability remains within reach. Hui, who turns 63 next month, has a personal fortune estimated at US$13.2 billion by Forbes , making him China’s 10th wealthiest man. His most recent public appearance was on July 1, when Hui was spotted and photographed by the media, appearing on Tiananmen Square in attendance at the Communist Party’s centenary celebrations. Hui, who founded Evergrande in 1996, was uncharacteristically absent from the company’s interim results media briefing. Evergrande’s first residential property project in Hong Kong flopped after initially attracting buyers to the Emerald Bay apartments in Tuen Mun. Hui acknowledged in Evergrande’s statement that construction work had been halted at some of the company’s projects, because of overdue payments that ran in the billions of yuan. “The group will do its utmost to continue its operations and endeavour to deliver our property projects to customers as scheduled,” Hui said in the filing. The signing of the delivery pledge was linked via conferencing with a dozen of Evergrande’s offices across mainland China, as far north as Heilongjiang and down to Hainan Island. Evergrande is rushing to sell assets to repair its balance sheet after years of rapid expansion, which saw it move into producing electric vehicles, property management and health care services. It even sponsors the Guangzhou Football Club in the Chinese Super League. Evergrande has said previously it was in discussions with third parties to sell its stakes in its electric car and property management units. It is also seeking to sell the 26-storey China Evergrande Centre in Wan Chai that serves as its Hong Kong headquarters to the Guangdong government-owned developer Yuexiu Property, Bloomberg reported last week.