China's '$2.7 Billion Problem'

China's '$2.7 Billion Problem'


Savvy investors eyeing the next big thing in China should consider cigarettes, nicotine gum and cancer-treatment providers.

That is the upshot of a new Brookings Institution report that raises burning questions about the family of Li Keqiang. He is expected to be named China’s next premier at a Communist Party congress that begins on Thursday. Li’s brother, Li Keming, is deputy director at China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, which dominates an industry that some health officials estimate will kill 3.5 million people each year in the country by 2030.

The conflicts of interest Li may carry to the top of Chinese power is a microcosm of what is wrong with the most- populous nation. They are endemic to almost every challenge facing China’s next leaders as they confront the weakest economy in 30 years.

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