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China Metal Magnate Faces Reality Under Xi

  • Government reins in Zhang Shiping’s gaint aluminum company
  • China’s industrial pendulum swings back toward state control
Employees walk through the aluminum smelting room at the China Hongqiao Group Ltd. aluminum smelting facility in Zouping, China, on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. China Hongqiao Group is China's largest private aluminum maker.

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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Zhang Shiping may have won an epic victory against short-sellers, but the self-made billionaire faces a much more formidable player in the battle surrounding the world’s biggest aluminum producer: China’s President Xi Jinping.

China Hongqiao Group Ltd. resumed trading in Hong Kong on Monday, ending a seven-month hiatus during which Zhang contested a research report that questioned his group’s famously low costs. The aluminum giant’s shares jumped 77 percent this week, making up ground lost to industry peers that have benefited from rising metal prices. Among the buyers was Zhang himself.