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China debt crunch

China's bond defaults hit record high of $18bn in first half

Foreign investors to rethink involvement in vulnerable lower-grade corporate bonds

Chinese retailer was one notable casualty as defaults increase. (Photo by Naoki Matsuda)

TOKYO -- Corporate debt defaults in China have soared to record levels as Beijing allows companies choking on excessive debt to go belly up.

Chinese corporate bond issuers defaulted on about 116 billion yuan ($18 billion) in the first six months of 2021, the highest figure for any January-June period.

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