Headlines 

Stricken Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks in East China Sea After Blast

The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank into the East China Sea on Sunday afternoon after a blast, causing a "serious" oil spill that covered 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles), state television reported, citing China’s State Oceanic Administration. The oil from the tanker was still burning, China Central Television reported Sunday. A State Oceanic Administration official reached by phone said the administration is collecting data from the spill area, and the administration said on its website that the spill will have an impact on the environment. All 32 crew members…

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Bitcoin Could End Up Using More Power Than Electric Cars

The global power needed to create cryptocurrencies this year could rival the entire electricity consumption of Argentina and be a growth driver for renewable energy producers from the U.S. to China. Miners of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could require up to 140 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2018, about 0.6 percent of the global total, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Nicholas Ashworth wrote in a note Wednesday. That’s more than expected power demand from electric vehicles in 2025. “If cryptocurrencies continue to appreciate we expect global mining power consumption to increase,”…

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2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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How China Will Shake Up the Oil Futures Market

China, the world’s biggest oil buyer, is on the verge of opening a domestic market to trade futures contracts. It’s been planning one for years, only to encounter delays. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange, a unit of Shanghai Futures Exchange, will be known by the acronym INE and will allow Chinese buyers to lock in oil prices and pay in local currency. Also, foreign traders will be allowed to invest — a first for China’s commodities markets — because the exchange is registered in Shanghai’s free trade zone. There are…

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Kim Jong Un Says Nuclear Button to Hit U.S. Always on My Desk

Kim Jong Un repeated claims that he could hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, saying that its deterrent is “irreversible” and would prevent President Donald Trump from starting a war. Kim also said he planned to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, Yonhap News reported, even as he called for mass production of nuclear warheads. South Korean television stations stopped broadcasting the speech before it ended. “It’s reality, not a threat, that the nuclear button is always on my desk,” Kim said in…

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China to Overtake U.S. Economy by 2032 as Asian Might Builds

The growing leapfrogging the U.K. and France next year to become the world’s fifth-biggest economy in dollar terms. It will advance to third place by 2027, moving ahead of Germany. In 2032, three of the four largest economies will be Asian — China, India and Japan — and, by that time, China will also have overtaken the U.S. to hold the No. 1 spot. India’s advance won’t stop there, according to the CEBR, which sees it taking the top place in the second half of the century. Also by 2032,…

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Apple, Google CEOs Bring Star Power as China Promotes Censorship

Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai made their first appearances at China’s World Internet Conference, bringing star power to a gathering the Chinese government uses to promote strict online censorship. Apple’s chief executive officer gave a surprise keynote at the opening ceremony on Sunday, calling for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity. The same day, Politburo member Wang Huning called for more aggressive government involvement online to combat terrorism and criminals online, even calling for a global response team to go…

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Heres What the World’s Central Banks Really Think About Bitcoin

Eight years since the birth of bitcoin, central banks around the world are increasingly recognizing the potential upsides and downsides of digital currencies. The guardians of the global economy have two sets of issues to address. First is what to do, if anything, about emergence and growth of the private cryptocurrencies that are grabbing more and more attention — with bitcoin now surging toward $10,000. The second question is whether to issue official versions. Following is an overview of how the world’s largest central banks (and some smaller ones) are approaching…

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Odds and Ends 

Incredible Ocean of Books Library Opens in China with Space for 1.2m Titles

Design by MVRDV Photograph © Ossip van Duivenbode   Incredible ‘Ocean of Books’ Library Opens in China with Space for 1.2m TitlesMVRDV in collaboration with local architects TUPDI has completed the Tianjin Binhai Library, a 33,700m2 (362,744 sq ft) cultural centre featuring a luminous spherical auditorium around which floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade. The undulating bookshelf is the building’s main spatial device, and is used both to frame the space and to create stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and even louvres on the façade. Tianjin Binhai Library was designed and built in…

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Odds and Ends 

Alibaba smashes its Singles Day record once again as sales cross $25 billion

Alibaba has set another Single’s Day record after the e-commerce giant sold over $25 billion of product on the Chinese biggest online shopping date. The full number comes in at 163.8 billion RMB, that’s roughly $25.3 billion, in GMV — that’s “gross merchandise volume” which is used to measure a dollar value for all sales on a platform. In Alibaba’s case, that predominantly means its Taobao marketplace and Tmall brand store although it does offer sales via its international services and it ships worldwide. All told, Alibaba handled 1.48 Billion transactions during…

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Alibaba Singles’ Day Posts Record 168 Billion Yuan in Sales

Jack Ma is using it as a testing ground for his plans to revamp China’s $4 trillion traditional retail sector with technology, an experiment that could help the behemoth gain an edge in China’s saturated market. “The work that’s been done in the integration of offline and online, not just in terms of the technology integration, but the data and efficiencies for brands and the consumer through personalization has been enormous,” Alibaba President Mike Evans said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “We see the impact of it in our…

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Alibaba Singles’ Day Sales Hit $8.6 Billion in First Hour

Jack Ma is using this year’s event as a testing ground for his plans to revamp China’s $4 trillion traditional retail sector with technology, an experiment that could help the behemoth gain an edge in China’s saturated retail market. “The work that’s been done in the integration of offline and online, not just in terms of the technology integration, but the data and efficiencies for brands and the consumer through personalization has been enormous,” Alibaba President Mike Evans said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “We see the impact of…

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Trump Scraps Possible Formal Meeting With Putin

President Donald Trump will not meet formally with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam this week due to a scheduling conflict, the White House said Friday, amid U.S. concerns that the meeting wouldn’t create genuine progress on key issues. “Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there’s not one on the calendar and we don’t anticipate that there will be one.” Any Putin-Trump meeting…

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Trump’s $250 Billion China Haul Features Little of Substance

Donald Trump can use to show he’s creating opportunities for U.S. businesses and jobs for his base. The reality, however, is that the roughly 15 agreements unveiled on Thursday are mostly non-binding memorandums of understanding and could take years to materialize — if they do at all. A day earlier, Commerce Secretary Read More: Details on the Deals Trump’s Team Plans to Unveil in China “To me this is an old-style visit when you pile up all the deals so you can to get a big number,” said James McGregor, China…

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Snap Is Looking a Lot Like Twitter After Another Earnings Miss

Snap Inc. went to great disappointing revenue and user growth, in its third-quarter results. Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel even highlighted that Snapchat isn’t easy enough for many to use, echoing similar complaints about Twitter. Snap’s surprise disclosure Wednesday morning that Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest instant messaging company, had analysts cut their ratings. Snap has now fallen 25 percent since its March IPO, bringing its market capitalization to within $900 million of Twitter’s. Of course, Snap’s valuation is still richer. Twitter is projected to have about three times the revenue…

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