Feb 06, 2021 12:13 PM

Editor’s Picks: Move Over GameStop, China Has Kuaishou; and Nepotism Claims Rock Huawei

In a week when GameStop topped global headlines with its wild gyrations, Chinese short video app Kuaishou was making its own gravity-defying act as its shares nearly tripled in their Hong Kong IPO. I’ll admit I don’t really understand such wild debuts despite my years in the business, and apparently China’s regulators don’t either. That’s a key takeaway from the ongoing retrenchment of China’s new simplified registration-based IPO system, which is facing more restrictive measures in an ongoing government clampdown. And in a story that’s sure to leave you conflicted, read how Huawei’s controversial founder and absentee dad Ren Zhengfei made a rare high-profile apology after taking heat for using the company to help his daughter.

— Doug Young, managing editor

China’s ‘Fast Hand’ soars in Hong Kong IPO

In one of this week’s top stories, short video app Kuaishou, whose name means “Fast Hand,” soared in its trading debut. Here’s our debut story, but I’d also encourage readers to check out Caixin Global’s extensive other coverage of this company from the past week.

Kuaishou Shares Almost Triple in Hong Kong Debut

While investors were feasting on Kuaishou, Chinese regulators were clamping down on other IPO aspirants with their latest step to rein in a young registration-based system that was designed to streamline the listing process but is having some teething problems.

Sponsors Face Tougher Inspections Over STAR Market IPO Problems

And away from stock markets, one of this week’s other top stories was the first major signal on how Joe Biden intends to tackle China-U.S. relations, which came in his first major foreign policy speech as U.S. president.

Biden Vows to Counter ‘Aggressive, Coercive’ China While Signaling Hope For Cooperation

HNA comes unglued

Next I wanted to draw attention to some of our great deep-dives from the past week, starting with this look on the latest unraveling of former highflyer HNA Group, which seems headed for a breakup after its mind-numbing multibillion-dollar global acquisition spree a few years ago. Check out this and our other coverage on the topic as well.

Exclusive: Hundreds of HNA-Linked Companies Expected to Restructure, Sources Say

And while data privacy is constantly in the headlines, this piece takes a deep dive into the subject by explaining the nuts-and-bolts of how China is trying to better protect individuals’ information.

Four Things to Know About China’s Big Changes to Data Collection Rules

For some insight elsewhere in the region, check out this analysis looking why Myanmar's brief experient with democracy failed after the country's military reasserted control.

Analysis: Why Myanmar’s Joint Military-Civil Rule Failed

And I also recommend this story about how a former Chinese mafia boss was sentenced to death last year after amassing nearly 1 billion yuan ($155 million) by illegally subletting real estate in Shanghai and silencing opponents with violence and threats.

In Depth: How an Ex-Migrant Worker Built a Million-Dollar Crime Ring on Prostitution, Fraud and Intimidation

More contrition from Huawei

It seems that Huawei’s founder just can’t get a break. After constantly defending his company in the face of crippling U.S. sanctions over the past two years, the reclusive Ren Zhengfei came under a different kind of fire this week with the revelation that he used his company to help his daughter’s budding entertainment career.

Huawei Founder Apologizes for Using Company to Help His Daughter

In more conflict news, I recommend this entertaining look at the growing legal spat between two of China’s internet titans.

ByteDance Sues WeChat Owner for Blocking Content in Escalating Standoff

And also not to be missed, check out this Caixin exclusive on how a dispute in the soccer arena landed the Chinese former chairman of one of England’s big soccer clubs in a shadowy network of detention centers here in China for half a year before his formal arrest last month.

Exclusive: Ex-England Soccer Club Chief Spent Months in Detention Centers, Relatives Say

Protecting furry friends

Finally, people who miss their pets while being quarantined got some good news this week with word they can be locked up together with their furry friends. Read this heart-warming story from our "Trending in China" series on how health authorities tweaked their strict quarantine policies after coming under fire from pet owners.

Trending in China: Pet Owners Fight to Have Their Pets With Them During Covid-19 Quarantines

And I also recommend this feature looking at how some young artists are finding new ways to express themselves through art during the pandemic.

Sculpted Out of the Pandemic

And if you’re looking for more good reads from the past week, check out some of these:

# Cover Story #

Threat of Renewed Pandemic Freezes China’s Annual Travel Rush

In second Covid-19 Lunar New Year, even fewer Chinese will travel amid new restrictions aimed at limiting resurgence and spread in rural areas

# China #

In Depth: China’s Carbon Trading Market Hobbled by Unanswered Questions

Systemic issues look likely to prevent power generators from effectively participating in the national scheme

# Business & Tech #

In Depth: Chinese Firms Take U.S. Government to Court to Undo Trump-Era Bans

Xiaomi joins Chinese peers including Huawei, WeChat and TikTok in filing lawsuits saying actions targeting them are illegal

In Depth: Rush to Expand China’s Oil Refining Capacity Raises Specter of Supply Glut

Domestic demand can’t keep up and the nation’s traditional export markets are growing more competitive

# Weekend Read #

Do’s and Don’ts for China’s Tech Self-Sufficiency Dream

It is imperative for the country to innovate on its own, but it’s also essential to determine which innovations should be driven by the government and which by the market

# Podcast #

Tencent Gets Fired Up Over Internal Corruption

Tech titan fires more than 100 employees for their alleged involvement in 60 corruption cases; forest bureau and a state-backed metals company fall into heavy criticism for their shoddy environmental records; and leading Chinese diplomat calls on Washington to ditch some of the Trump’s ‘misguided polices’

Contact reporter Doug Young (

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