Embattled property developer China Evergrande Group filed for bankruptcy in a New York court Thursday, highlighting the prolonged slump in the Chinese real estate market following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evergrande sought Chapter 15 court protection of its assets in the United States under the bankruptcy procedures for non-U.S. companies to shield it from creditors.

The move came after the group based in Guangdong Province said last month it was saddled with 2.44 trillion yuan ($335 billion) in excess liabilities at the end of 2022.

Evergrande, which has received financial support including from the provincial government, released a debt restructuring plan in March for foreign currency-dominated liabilities, but only a limited number of creditors agreed to it.

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