Ant Group employees were already busy scurrying to build splendid nests. They were anticipating a sweet windfall from an unprecedented US$37 billion initial public offering (IPO) that would see the company’s shares listed on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges. With future earnings totalling millions and even billions, these shareholders were snapping up luxurious properties in Hangzhou, where the Alibaba headquarters is located. My friends in the emerging Chinese city were miffed as home prices were driven up rapidly, in a place where prices per square foot already rival Seattle, where Amazon.com is based. Then came a regulatory storm that wiped out the dream abodes of the worker ants. Jus
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