FirstFT: Sequoia China founder Neil Shen acquired Singapore residency

Stay informed with free updates Simply sign up to the Global Economy myFT Digest — delivered directly to your inbox. Good morning — we start today with a scoop out of Singapore. Neil Shen, China’s most prominent tech investor, acquired permanent residency in the city-state and later opened an office there for his $56bn venture capital firm as tensions rose between Washington and Beijing. The billionaire founder of Sequoia China, renowned for early investments in Alibaba, ByteDance and Shein, was granted the status before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to three…

Germany and Italy torpedo EU supply chain law

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. Germany and Italy have torpedoed an EU law imposing liability on companies for alleged human rights abuses in their supply chain, such as in China’s Xinjiang region. At a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, no majority could be established for the law, which had been previously agreed, due to Berlin and Rome’s last-minute objections reflecting concerns that the new legislation would hurt their industrial base. The aim of the…

Disney strikes $8.5bn deal to merge India business with Reliance Industries

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. Disney has struck an $8.5bn dollar deal to merge its India business with Reliance Industries, in a move that will reduce the US entertainment group’s financial exposure to what has been a lossmaking venture in one of the world’s most populated countries. Entities controlled by Reliance, the Indian conglomerate run by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, will invest $1.4bn and take a 63 per cent stake in the new company, while Disney…

Chinese developer Country Garden hit by winding-up petition

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. A Hong Kong-based creditor has filed a winding-up petition against struggling developer Country Garden, adding to a wave of legal action that threatens to increase liquidations across China’s property sector. The petition, filed by a company called Ever Credit at Hong Kong’s High Court, cited non-payment of a HK$1.6bn (US$204mn) loan facility plus accrued interest, Country Garden disclosed on Wednesday in an exchange filing. Country Garden, which until recently was…

South Korean doctors’ strike exposes tensions over ageing population

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. The South Korean government has given striking trainee doctors until Thursday to end a mass walkout or face suspension and prosecution, as tensions mount over a stand-off that has exposed the country’s demographic challenges. South Korea’s healthcare system was placed on its highest state of alert last week after thousands of trainee doctors resigned in protest against government plans to increase medical school admissions. “We urge trainee doctors who have…

Leaked Russian military files reveal criteria for nuclear strike

Vladimir Putin’s forces have rehearsed using tactical nuclear weapons at an early stage of conflict with a major world power, according to leaked Russian military files that include training scenarios for an invasion by China. The classified papers, seen by the Financial Times, describe a threshold for using tactical nuclear weapons that is lower than Russia has ever publicly admitted, according to experts who reviewed and verified the documents. The cache consists of 29 secret Russian military files drawn up between 2008 and 2014, including scenarios for war-gaming and presentations…

Neil Shen took Singapore residency as US-China tensions rose

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. Neil Shen, China’s most prominent technology investor, acquired permanent residency in Singapore as tensions rose between Washington and Beijing, according to two people familiar with the matter. The billionaire founder of Sequoia China, renowned for early investments in Alibaba, ByteDance and Shein, applied for and was granted the status before the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the people close to Shen cited “personal reasons” for the decision. Shen’s firm, which rebranded…

Sequoia China founder Neil Shen took Singapore residency

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. Neil Shen, China’s most prominent technology investor, acquired permanent residency in Singapore as tensions rose between Washington and Beijing, according to two people familiar with the matter. The billionaire founder of Sequoia China, renowned for early investments in Alibaba, ByteDance and Shein, applied for and was granted the status before the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the people close to Shen cited “personal reasons” for the decision. Shen’s firm, which rebranded…

Inside the miracle of modern chip manufacturing

Loading . . . Working in chip innovation was not always the plan for Min Cao, vice-president of pathfinding at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Cao had dreamed of a career in physics, but after graduating from Stanford University at the end of the cold war, an abundance of out-of-work physicists meant he cast his net more widely. His desire to understand how the world works led him to the rapidly developing field of microchips. “There are still a lot of mysteries,” says Cao, whose work on chip performance continues…

Are Japan’s corporate managers ready for the revival of trade unions?

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for free Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter. Since Nippon Steel agreed to buy US Steel for $14.9bn in mid-December, the deal has faced a bipartisan backlash in Washington against the sale of a US manufacturing icon to a foreign entity. On Monday, a sliver of good news emerged as the United Steelworkers revealed that it had signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Japanese company, meaning that the union was at least willing to engage in serious talks regarding…