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The Best Reads of the Week From Caixin

It has become almost impossible to get shipments loaded on trans-Pacific cargo ships as the trade war between China and U.S. escalates, shippers say. Companies exporting goods to the U.S. are trying to accelerate shipments to beat scheduled and threatened new tariffs. Meanwhile, shipping companies are canceling departures and cutting capacity in anticipation of reduced demand.

Over the past two years, dozens of private Chinese companies have ramped up investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 60% of the world’s raw cobalt ore is produced. China’s domestic policy support for new-energy vehicles is driving demand for the silver-gray metal, a key component in the lithium-ion batteries that power electronic devices and electric cars.

The founder of dominant Chinese search engine Baidu predicted his company will “again be victorious” against Google if the U.S. search giant returns to China, even as many Chinese internet users said they would welcome such a return.

Some 5,000 coffins have been confiscated or destroyed by authorities in Zhangzhu, a town of 560,000 in Jiangxi, as part of a controversial provincewide initiative to switch from ground burials to cremations by the end of 2020.

The alleged embezzlement of billions of yuan by the head of a financial conglomerate who has now vanished has ripped open a can of worms about the role and responsibilities of banks that are entrusted with looking after the assets of private funds — products sold to high-net-worth individuals and institutions by investment companies and mutual funds.

These are the five stories that I don’t want you to miss from last week. Please share your comments on the In Focus section and on our other coverage at news@caixin.com.

And when you’re done perusing these must-read stories, check out Caixin’s weekly digital magazine

Kind regards,

Doug Young

Managing Editor

 

Exporters Accelerate Shipments as Trade War Takes Hold

Demand for cargo space rises in advance of new tariffs as shipping lines cut capacity, forcing prices higher and causing delays

trade

Traders are rushing to load their goods on board as trade war heightens. Photo: VCG

Electric-Vehicle Craze Drives Rush for Congo Cobalt

Central African country rich in metal integral to lithium-ion batteries

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A woman pans for cobalt in May 2015 near a mine in the Congo. Photo: VCG

Baidu Dares Google to Tread on Its Turf Again

Chinese search leader would beat U.S. search giant if it returns to world’s top internet market, says CEO

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Photo: IC

Jiangxi Government Buried in Criticism for Destroying Coffins

Authorities use heavy hand in pushing resident away from burials toward cremation

Workers smash coffins in Nanling, Maojia village, in Jiangxi province on Thursday. Photo: Liang Yingfei/Caixin

Workers smash coffins in Nanling, Maojia village, in Jiangxi province on Thursday. Photo: Liang Yingfei/Caixin

Blame Game Erupts After Investors Bilked of Billions

Scandal puts custodian banks in eye of storm over safeguarding private-fund assets

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Fuxing Group investors gather in front of the office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in Beijing on July 26. Photo: Caixin

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