Chinese conglomerate Evergrande is failing. Once a pillar of the Chinese economy that led booms in construction, Evergrande has apparently been taking money from construction clients and then not building the buildings they’ve contracted for because of “cash flow problems”—and they weren’t the only company playing such games.

The alleged fraud amounts to no less than $78 billion.

The scandal has been brewing a long time. One group of investors stormed the Evergrande corporate offices in September of 2021, demanding their money back. Then, in 2022, homebuyers stopped making payments on their mortgages. This 2022 financial protest blossomed into street protests in regions such as Henan province, where the real estate failures were most pronounced.

This marks the latest in a series of difficulties that have rocked the once unstoppable Chinese Economic Miracle. COVID policies in China, aimed at eradicating the disease entirely, saw vast areas locked down—to the extent of welding people into their residences—driving down economic activity and driving investor capital to other manufacturing hubs, such as India. Late 2023 saw the first ever quarterly decline in Foreign Direct Investment to China since the country opened up to trade during the Nixon Administration.

January saw a court order from Hong Kong ordering Evergrande to liquidate, a few months after the company’s founder Hui Ka Yan was disappeared by the Chinese Communist Party. The company is now in deep financial trouble, holding a reported $300 billion in liabilities, which positions it among the most indebted companies in one of the most indebted countries in the world.