Beijing is censoring a French economist Xi Jinping once praised
When French economist Thomas Piketty published his acclaimed Capital in the 21st Century in 2013, it was an immediate hit upon release in China, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. The nearly 700-page book, an analysis and critique of modern capitalism and inequality, even won praise from President Xi Jinping. In a 2015 speech he used its findings on surging inequality in the United States and Europe to claim that Marxist political economy was as relevant as ever. But Piketty’s new book Capital and Ideology, which expands on the theme of inequality, looks increasingly unlikely to have the same success after falling foul of China’s censors. Published outside China last year, it has yet
The reclusive Chinese billionaire whose kidnapping brought unwanted fame
He Xiangjian, the Chinese billionaire who founded the world’s biggest home appliances maker Midea Group and was the victim of a recent botched kidnap attempt, is a man of few words. The man with a $25 billion fortune shares only 26 words with his staff and customers on Midea’s official website. But plenty has been written about He – China’s sixth-richest person, according to Forbes – since June 14, when five kidnappers with explosives held the 77-year-old for ransom after breaking into his luxury villa in Foshan, his and Midea’s birthplace in southern China. Local police arrested the suspects after He’s son – 55-year old He Jianfeng, who sits on the Midea board – sneaked out of the property
Rich Chinese diners can’t get enough of this musky ‘white gold’
Averaging €300 for 100 grams (about $1,350 per pound) – but with the largest specimens selling for substantially more – highly sought-after white truffles from Italy’s northern Piedmont region are commonly called “white gold.” The Chinese love affair with these musky-tasting truffles has given rise to a niche industry of cooks, businessmen and millionaires from Shanghai to Singapore. They have become the main buyers of the expensive delicacy and the major protagonists in the annual truffle drama – the yearly auction in the Piedmont town of Alba. “Each year in Alba we stage the white truffle global auction, and for the past 15 years it has been held simultaneously through streaming in Hong Ko
The rise and fall of Hong Kong socialite Azura
On October 15, 2018, 46-year-old tech expert Jason, from New York, flew to Hong Kong on a week-long business trip.  He checked into a room at the Four Seasons, in Central, and when a lunch appointment was canceled, he happily nursed an afternoon drink at the hotel’s Pool Bar. “Then I looked up,” he recalls, “and this incredible, striking woman walked in.” Jason remembers her warmly embracing the waitstaff, who responded with a fawning adoration reserved for regular clients. “She was shown to the table next to me, we made eye contact, she smiled, and that was it,” Jason says. Newly separated from his wife, his enchantment could be forgiven. Her lips were full, her flowing, lust­rous hair fram