Dear Access member,
Less than three bucks. That’s how much shares in Luckin Coffee cost today, down from a peak of $50 on January 17. Meanwhile the U.S. Senate passed legislation which could bar some Chinese companies from American stock exchanges, just a day after Nasdaq announced it would delist Luckin Coffee. Luckin is the aggressive venture capital-backed start-up that sought to dethrone Starbucks, but is now sputtering out as the hype around it was revealed to be based on fraudulent accounting. See our top story below for details.
It’s Two Sessions propaganda season! China’s annual legislative meetings of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress — often glossed as China’s rubber stamp parliament in media reports — begin tomorrow. The Chinese-language home pages of the People’s Daily and Global Times have rolled out large banners with slogans about “obtaining victory” (决胜 juéshèng). Xinhua’s Chinese-language home page features a pair of phrases at the top that read, roughly, “Rain or shine, we will summon up courage to forge ahead” (风雨无阻奋勇向前 fēngyǔwúzǔ fènyǒng xiàngqián). China Daily, meanwhile, features a link to an animation titled “Follow panda through government achievements of 2019.”
China sent Turkey an extradition request for an exiled Uyghur, according to documents obtained by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian at Axios. Enver Turdi, the man named in the extradition request, is still waiting on a decision from the Turkish courts.
Wuhan really wants to test all its residents for COVID-19, it seems. Last week, we noted that the city was not going to test its 11 million residents in 10 days as headlines in outlets like BBC and the Washington Post indicated, but mass testing is proceeding at an extraordinary pace. Today, Reuters reports that Wuhan health authorities tested 856,128 people yesterday, and 467,847 people on Monday. In contrast, America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that America has so far tested fewer than 13 million people nationwide.
Our word of the day is Luckin Coffee 瑞幸咖啡 ruìxìng kāfēi, the troubled company that Nasdaq has said it will delist after a fraud scandal. The fraud news earlier led to an 80% drop in Luckin’s stock value from more than $40/share, and with further tumbles today, a share in Luckin now costs less than $3.
—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief