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Key Words: ‘Dead duck’s mouth’ — CEO of China Evergrande’s leaked letter to employees gets panned on social media

“I firmly believe that Evergrande’s spirit of never admitting defeat and becoming stronger with frustration is the source of our strength to overcome all difficulties!”

That was the chairman of troubled property group China Evergrande
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-0.44%
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Xu Jiayin, who was channelling his inner Winston Churchill in what appeared to be a rally-the-troops letter to employees that leaked online Tuesday.

The billionaire wished his colleagues a happy mid-autumn festival, thanking them for their hard work, especially those “still fighting on the front line of resuming work and production.” The letter was posted in its entirety by several Chinese media sites.

Xu said that “through the joint efforts and hard work of leaders at all levels and all employees, Evergrande will surely walk out of the darkest moment as soon as possible,” and speed up its goal to resume production and complete construction of its buildings. But the reception to those words were not exactly on par with what Churchill got from those inspiring wartime speeches.

“Dead Duck’s Mouth,” responded Weibo user “White clothes salty rice,” referring to a common Chinese proverb about someone being stubborn as a mule. User Xiao Xu said the “slogan is good, but the fastest runners are Xu Jiayin and Evergrande executive [s].” User “the lost Astronaut” simply said: “It seems really difficult.”

The company did not immediately respond to a query as to the authenticity of the letter.

Shares of Evergrande fell another 0.4% in Hong Kong on Tuesday, on the heels of a 10% drop that fueled a global stock rout Monday, with the S&P 500
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+0.12%

suffering its worst session since May. Evergrande stock is down 84% year to date, with losses picking up in recent weeks on fears that the struggling property giant will default on interest payments due in the coming days as it sits on $300 billion in debt.

Read: Will Evergrande be China’s ‘Lehman moment’? Wall Street says no

And: Evergrande’s potential debt blowup is ‘not a contagion’ event for the stock market, says the man who said the firm was insolvent 10 years ago

While U.S.
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+0.12%

and European stocks
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+0.90%

were rebounding from Monday’s losses, investors were braced for the reopening of China markets from a two-day holiday on Wednesday. The company may get a reprieve if the People’s Bank of China follows up a dramatic pair of days to cool any potential market panic.

Evergrande has already missed payments to two of its bank creditors, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Opinion: Evergrande crisis and the U.S. debt-ceiling showdown could give stock investors a buying opportunity

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