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Shock and Tears: Behind Vanguard’s Retreat From China Market

  • U.S. giant’s decision to reverse course surprises staff
  • Decision came after years of assessing low-cost model
Views of Shanghai as IMF Says China's Complex Fiscal System Needs 'Crucial' Overhaul
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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Vanguard Group Inc. staff who dialed into a video call from their desks on the 40th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center last month were expecting a morale-boosting speech from regional head Scott Conking on how the U.S. fund giant would tackle the Chinese market after years of preparation.

Instead, Conking said the $7 trillion money manager was abandoning its push for a mutual fund license. The firm would rely on an advisory venture with Ant Group Co. to maintain a presence in China, Conking said via video from the same Shanghai office, where he was visiting for the first time.