Good evening. Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange, is everywhere right now. The $92 billion company recently acquired a large stake in Forbes magazine and is one of the sponsors of Elon Musk’s Twitter proposal. By some estimates, its CEO “CZ” is second only to Musk in net worth of $225 billion. And yet, ever since Binance left its home city of Shanghai, it basically doesn’t exist anywhere – without an official headquarters. Our main article this week asks how long Binance and CZ can stay on the run. Elsewhere we have an infographic about PAG, one of the largest private equity firms in Asia; an interview with Charlene Barshefsky on why cooperation with China is more important than ever; a report on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is testing Taiwan; and an article by Michael Spence on the positive aspects of the strategic rivalry between the US and China. If you haven’t already subscribed to The Wire, sign up here.
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Illustration by Luis Granena
born to run
Cashing in on the crypto boom in China, Binance CEO “CZ” fled China just in time. But critics say he has since run “jumping out of jurisdiction” as authorities around the world try to take over the $92 billion cryptocurrency exchange. In this week’s flagship article, Katrina Northrop explores Binance’s Shanghai past, nomadic present, and unknown future.
Review: new punch from PAG
From surviving the Cultural Revolution to rising to the top echelons of the financial industry, Shan Weijian’s prowess has taken him far ahead. But the co-founder of PAG, one of Asia’s largest private equity firms, is now in the spotlight after his criticism of the Chinese government over the economy and zero Covid hit the Financial Times. This week, our Eliot Chen infographic focuses on the history and investment of PAG.
Interview with Charlene Barshefsky
Charlene Barshefsky, US Trade Representative under President Bill Clinton, was the initiator and chief negotiator of the deal that paved the way for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. In this week’s interview with Bob Davis – part of a new special series called Engagement Rules – she reflects on the surprises and setbacks of this historic deal; why engagement with China is more important than ever; and why she thinks the United States can remain dominant even if it is not dominant.
Work by Kate Copeland
Credit: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via AP Photo.
How did the Russian invasion of Ukraine affect the citizens of Taiwan? As Jordyn Jaime reports, the Russian attack has sparked a new sense of realism about Taiwan’s readiness for a possible future war with China and whether it can count on help from the United States and its allies.
Credit: US Department of State/Flickr.
Good US-China strategic competition
In an article published this week, Nobel Prize-winning economist Michael Spence argues that if the United States and China fight a zero-sum battle for long-term technological superiority, they will both fail, hampering technological progress and economic growth around the world. They are much better off, he says, if they strive to achieve or stay at the forefront of innovation without stopping others from challenging them.
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