Xu Jiayin is being held under 'residential surveillance'. AFP

The billionaire boss of beleaguered Chinese property developer Evergrande is being held by police, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, as the debt-ridden company continues to grapple with severe financial troubles.

Xu Jiayin, who is also known as Hui Ka Yan in Cantonese, was taken away by authorities earlier this month and is now being held, according to anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg.

He is being held under "residential surveillance", the report said, which does not mean he has been arrested or charged with a crime.

Evergrande's enormous debt has contributed to the country's deepening property market crisis, raising fears of a global spillover.

The company's property arm this week missed a key debt payment due, and Chinese financial website Caixin reported that former executives at the firm had been detained.

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