Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 3:00 PM EDT - 3:30 PM EDT

Zoom Interview | Keith Abbell, Meg Rithmire

China’s massive real estate market has been shaken by recent news of property developer China Evergrande Group’s increasingly dire financial situation. What explains the company’s predicament, and how has the Chinese government responded? How did giant conglomerates such as Evergrande become so prominent in the Chinese economy? What is the significance of real estate for individual households and China’s economy as a whole, and what does the government handling of Evergrande reveal about the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and big business?

In an interview conducted on October 5, 2021, Meg Rithmire analyzes the domestic and global economic and political implications of the troubles facing real estate giant China Evergrande Group in conversation with Keith Abell.

Meg Rithmire

Meg Rithmire is F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School. Her primary expertise is in the comparative political economy of development with a focus on China and Asia. Dr. Rithmire’s first book, Land Bargains and Chinese Capitalism, examines the role of land politics, real estate, and local property rights regimes in the Chinese economic reforms. Her new book project investigates state-business relations in authoritarian Asia, comparing China, Malaysia, and Indonesia from the early 1980s to the present. Related work concerns the role of the Chinese Communist Party in China’s political economy, and trade and investment conflict between China and the United States. Dr. Rithmire is a fellow in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program. She has a B.A. and M.A. from Emory University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Keith Abell

Keith Abell serves on the boards of directors of E2 Open Parent Holdings Inc. and CC Neuberger Principal Holdings III, and as the treasurer and a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. In 2020, he co-founded LevelN4XT LLC, a collaborative workspace company, and in 2010, he co-founded Sungate Properties, LLC, a real estate company which led pioneering investments in trophy U.S. office properties in partnership with private Chinese investors. Prior to that, Mr. Abell was a co-founder of GSC Group (and its predecessor, Greenwich Street Capital Partners, L.P.), an alternative asset manager; a managing director at Blackstone where he, among other things, founded the firm’s first Hong Kong office; a vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co., and a principal of an independent film production company. Mr. Abell holds an MBA from The Wharton School, an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. from Brown University.