Photographer: Qilai Shen/ EPA

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An obscure Chinese business has suddenly rocketed up the list of the world’s most-actively traded stocks.  Fangda Carbon New Material Co. — a producer of graphite electrodes — isn’t exactly a household name, and its market capitalization is middling, but on Friday it became the 11th most-traded common stock in the world, outpacing JPMorgan Chase & Co. It’s not clear exactly what’s behind Fangda’s overnight popularity, but Chinese authorities have taken notice. Regulators have been on high alert for suspicious trading activity in the world’s second-biggest stock market since the $5 trillion equity crash two years ago. Your move, China.

China’s famous hotpot is coming soon to a city near you. In 1994, former factory worker Zhang Yong opened a four-table restaurant serving up boiling soup broth with meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles.  Today, he’s a billionaire, running one of China’s most-popular restaurant chains. Haidilao has 196 outlets in 60 Chinese cities, as well as more in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul. This is the story of how he did it and where he’s going next. 

Google fires the employee behind a controversial diversity memo. James Damore’s 10-page memorandum accused Google of silencing conservative political opinions and argued that biological differences play a role in the shortage of women in technology and leadership positions. Damore confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying he was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

China’s debt crackdown gets a big shrug from global investors.  For the first time in years, China isn’t high on investors’ list of worries, a recent survey showed — and that’s despite Beijing’s commitment to curbing financial risks and reining in spendthrift local officials. It’s a big change from two years ago. But what’s also missing nowadays is fears of a hard landing for the $11 trillion economy. 

Australia’s biggest bank scraps its CEO’s bonus. As Commonwealth Bank of Australia battles to contain the fallout from allegations it breached money-laundering and terrorist-financing laws more than 50,000 times, senior executives – including Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev – were stripped of their short-term bonuses. The bank’s board was concerned primarily with “the collective accountability of senior management for the overall reputation of the group.”

Samsung’s billionaire heir shown ‘no mercy.’ The South Korean prosecutor dubbed the “Chaebol Grim Reaper” is living up to that moniker, demanding that Samsung Group’s Jay Y. Lee spend 12 years in prison for his alleged role in a bribery scandal that toppled the nation’s president. It’s the harshest criminal sentence ever sought against a major conglomerate leader — including Lee’s father, who built Samsung Electronics Co. into a global powerhouse and was convicted twice.

Meet the smartphone that comes with a concierge service. It’s not easy standing out in the smartphone game. Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. pretty much have the market locked up with high-performance phones that look pretty and work well. The response from Turing Robotic Industries? A $1,600 phone linked to a high-end concierge service overseen by a digital assistant named Sir Alan.

The Appassionato from Turing Robotic Industries.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

 

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