Good evening. Most recently, Xiang Guangda made headlines for a spectacularly bad bet when he shorted nickel and faced as much as $2 billion in potential losses. But the founder of stainless steel giant Tsingshan Group has a long history of spectacularly good bets, to include going all in on Indonesia. As our cover story this week shows, Indonesia now mines almost half of the world’s nickel — a critical mineral for EV batteries — and Tsingshan’s stronghold there represents something of a pickle for everyone else.
Elsewhere, we have infographics on the surge of IPOs in China; an interview with Nazak Nikakhtar on the legal paths for banning TikTok; a reported piece on why Chinese money is heading for small-town America; and an op-ed from Stephen Roach on the economic costs of America’s conflict with China. If you’re not already a paid subscriber to The Wire, please sign up here.
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Xiang Guangda invested in Indonesia when no one else would. Now, his firm, stainless steel giant Tsingshan Group, is both a leader and something of a gate keeper for the country’s huge nickel industry. But with nickel increasingly needed for EV batteries, the dominance of Tsingshan and other Chinese companies in Indonesia presents a problem for the West. Eliot Chen reports.
The surge in IPOs on domestic markets is a win for Chinese policy makers and local investment banks. This week’s infographics by Eliot Chen look at IPOs in China: how much money is being raised, which are the largest companies going public, and how the country’s competitors are faring.
As assistant secretary for industry and analysis in the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration under former President Donald Trump, Nazak Nikakhtar helped shape U.S trade policy toward China and led the department’s work with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). As a private lawyer now, she continues to keep a close eye on U.S. efforts to regulate Chinese technology companies, including TikTok. In this week’s Q&A with Jennifer Conrad, she talks about the threat to Americans’ data posed by the popular app, and how the situation could be resolved.
Illustration by Lauren Crow
Changes to the EB-5 immigration system have encouraged wealthy Chinese people to invest in out-of-the-way places. Katrina Northrop reports.
In a wide-ranging speech on the U.S.-China relationship, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reversed the terms of engagement with China, prioritizing national-security concerns over economic considerations. But the U.S. case, argues Stephen Roach in this week’s op-ed, rests not on hard evidence but on the presumption of China’s nefarious intent.
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