Oct 31, 2020 06:05 PM

Editor’s Picks: The Ant That Roared, and a Struggling Peking Duck

Welcome to the first edition of our new “Editor’s Picks” where our senior editors bring you their top 10 stories from the last week. This week’s top story has to be Ant Group, the financial colossus that’s minting billionaires and causing an investor frenzy as it prepares for a record-setting IPO. But ants aren’t the only animal making my list, with Peking duck also on the menu as we look at how one of China’s most famous brands is fighting for survival. And last but certainly not least, our pages this past week were filled with shadows cast by two of China’s racier entrepreneurs, one a fugitive trying to build a business boomtown across the border in Myanmar, and the other a man being called a deadbeat by a former highflying investment outfit.

Doug Young, managing editor


Getting started

We start the show with Ant Group, which has topped our headlines for much of this week and finally announced terms for its blockbuster IPO that could raise nearly $40 billion.

Ant Group Sets Share Prices for World’s Largest IPO

Then we have the two entrepreneurs I mentioned at the start: the first a shadowy fugitive who goes by She Kailun, among other names, who is trying to build a business boomtown in Myanmar.

Cover Story: A Fugitive Businessman’s High-Profile Bet in Myanmar

And then there’s the other, Calvin Choi, whose AMTD Group is being chased by former financial highflyer China Minsheng Investment Group, which is accusing him of fraud.

In Depth: Fraud Allegations Fly as Mainland Investment Firm Turns on Hong Kong Money Man


The future looks clean?

Anyone who may have doubted that China is serious about its clean energy car future might want to look at this:

Almost All New Cars Sold in China Will Be Battery Powered by 2035, Blueprint Predicts

Meanwhile, no week in China would be complete without a good corruption story. Many may have zoned out on reading this headline, but a read into the story might surprise you.

Wealthy Province’s Law Enforcement Chief Submits to Corruption Probe

Then there’s this interesting piece on the controversial subject of facial recognition technology, and how people in the city of Hangzhou may be finally saying “enough.”

East China Internet Hub Mulls Ban on Facial Recognition in Residential Areas


Huawei’s endless bad news

It’s been another bad week for Huawei, with word that its smartphones sales plunged in the third quarter. But this in-depth piece featuring interviews with many in and around the company shows how it’s trying to return to a simpler past before U.S. technology invaded its supply chain.

In Depth: Huawei Eyes ‘Not Made in America’ Chip Supply Chain as Stockpiles Dwindle

The news is also bad these days at BMW’s China joint venture partner Brilliance Auto Group, whose bonds are suddenly in the investor doghouse over concerns about its future.

BMW’s Joint-Venture Partner Sees Bonds Plunge on Cocktail of Rumors, Legal Trouble and Future Uncertainty

I’d also encourage people to have a look at this column by our senior editor Lu Zhenhua, which explores how Sino-U.S. relations could change if Joe Biden becomes the next U.S. president next week.

Opinion: Three Ways a Biden White House Could Reset U.S.-China Relations


And finally …

I’ll wrap up the week with an interesting look at a restaurant chain whose name is synonymous with Peking duck. But the books are hardly mouth-watering these days for Quanjude, which is just one of many famous old Chinese brands struggling to stay relevant in the modern age.

150-Year-Old Peking Duck Brand Bleeds Cash as Food Scene Leaves It Behind

Contact reporter Doug Young ( and editor Gavin Cross (

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