China Evergrande is lurching from one crisis to another. From its home delivery snag to ongoing debt repayment troubles, more than US$52 billion of market value has been erased from the slump in its two flagship entities in Hong Kong over the past 12 months. The group had 1.97 trillion yuan (US$309 billion) of liabilities, making it the nation’s most indebted developer . Chinese government officials have pinned the blame squarely on its “poor management” and “reckless expansion” into an array of unrelated sectors and other pet projects. The latest order to demolish 39 structures at the Ocean Flower Island, a tourism project in Hainan, has added to a string of lavish misadventures by the developer, or its billionaire founder Hui Ka-yan, in mainland China and Hong Kong. 1. Ocean Flower Island Ocean Flower Island , or “Haihua” in Chinese, is an enormous artificial island off the north coast of Danzhou in southern Hainan province. Started in 2012 at a reported reclamation and building cost of 68 billion yuan, the three artificial islands began receiving visitors in late 2020. The project is the world’s largest man-made tourism island, sprawling over 1,980 acres. At 1.5 times the size of the extravagant Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, the Hainan development was soon dubbed the Dubai of China . On December 16 last year, the project was nominated as the “ugliest building” in a ranking organised by Chinese architecture website archcy.com, an annual competition introduced in 2010. The project was judged for destroying marine ecology and flaunting wealth and kitsch cultural tourism project. 2. Evergrande International Financial Centre This 518-metre skyscraper in Hefei, the capital of eastern Anhui province, consists of a main tower and four auxiliary towers with a total gross floor area of 1.15 million square metres. The project cost was estimated at 16.5 billion yuan. Once completed in 2025, the bamboo-shaped building will become the tallest in the province. In traditional Chinese culture, bamboo is a symbol of moral integrity, resistance, modesty and loyalty. The centre also takes the meaning of the plant’s shape to be “jie jie gao sheng”, which means every step can bring in more success. It was not to be. Construction that began in 2016 has now been halted because of safety concerns, according to a note from the Hefei Environmental Protection Bureau in 2020. Last month, the Anhui Environmental Protection Department issued a stop order for works on the unbuilt parts of the original plan. 3. Super-size mansion dubbed ‘Palace of Versailles’ in Hong Kong Last May, Evergrande paid HK$4.2 billion (US$541 million) to convert a plot of farmland in New Territories for an ultra luxury project – a 240,000 sq ft villa like the Palace of Versailles , after the former French royal residence west of Paris. Evergrande paid HK$4.7 billion to Henderson Land Development in 2019 for the plot, about the size of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, located near the Mai Po Wetlands in Yuen Long. At 240,000 sq ft, the single mansion will be as big as 180 of the biggest flats in Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong’s most popular mass-market residential project, put together. The average living space in Hong Kong is less than 200 sq ft. Evergrande plans to build 268 villas on the plot, according to documents submitted to the Town Planning Board. Evergrande has now invested HK$8.9 billion into the plot, and surveyors said it would need to sell the villas at HK$20,000 per square foot for reasonable returns. 4. Guangzhou Evergrande Football Stadium In April 2020, Evergrande invested 12 billion yuan to build the Guangzhou Evergrande Football Stadium in China’s “flower city” in the capital of southern Guangdong province. As the future home of Guangzhou FC, the 100,000-capacity venue would be the world’s biggest when completed by December 2022. In November, however, Reuters reported that the developer has halted construction as cash dried up. State-owned Guangzhou City Construction Investment Group has taken control of the project. Evergrande paid 100 million yuan in 2010 to control Guangzhou FC, which won the domestic league from 2011 to 2019 and saw its value hover at 19 billion yuan before its delisting in March. The club has suffered high-profile exits among players as the developer struggles to repay creditors.