As China’s Private Developers Retreat, State-Backed Rivals Gain Ground

Real-estate companies linked to central and local governments are seen as likelier survivors in a shrinking market

The world’s most indebted real-estate firm Evergrande has embarked on a social media campaign to show construction has resumed and says it’s doing whatever it takes to deliver homes. WSJ compares these posts with ones from upset buyers. Photo Composite: Emily Siu

HONG KONG—A nearly yearlong shakeout in China’s housing market is throwing up some clear winners: state-owned developers.

As former industry leaders from China Evergrande Group to Sunac China default on their international bonds and suffer debilitating sales declines, some of their state-owned counterparts have been taking advantage of the sector’s dislocation to expand by acquiring more land and other assets.

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