|To: richardred who wrote (4632)||11/24/2017 5:47:51 PM|
|Alibaba continues to increase its “bricks & mortar” presence |
21 November 2017
In June this year when Amazon announced its $13.7bn offer for Whole Foods, there was a lot of media comment about the deal finally representing a move towards “physical” locations, as well as being an e-retailer, and many commentators seemed transfixed by this.
However, what seemed to go relatively unnoticed was the fact there is already a precedent of a global e-retailer looking to physical locations in order to help it fulfil the next stage of its strategic plan. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate, had already started to invest in “bricks and mortar” retailers as far back as 2014, and yesterday saw it continue with this strategy with the announcement of its acquisition of a 26% stake in Sun Art Retail Group, the Hong Kong-based hypermarket operator.
For Alibaba, this deal represents its fourth acquisition of a “physical” retailer, after acquiring the remaining 53% of Intime Retail earlier this year, as well as minority positions in household appliance retailer Suning Commerce and Lianhua Supermarkets in May 2016 and May 2017, respectively.
The underlying driver for both Amazon and Alibaba in making these acquisitions is to access data held by the target companies, and also to bring together the two worlds of online and offline commerce for all parties involved.
Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, is quoted as saying that “physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalized services in the digital economy”. He also said: “By fully integrating online and physical channels together with our partners, we look forward to delivering an original and delightful shopping experience to Chinese consumers.”
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|To: richardred who wrote (4614)||11/24/2017 5:54:23 PM|
|Shanghai Pharmaceuticals to purchase Cardinal Health’s unit Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding is acquiring Malaysia-incorporated Cardinal Health L (Cardinal Malaysia) for USD 1,200 billion, subject to further adjustments based on the target’s working capital, existing cash and assumed debt. The buyer has obtained financing from third party financial institutions and is making the purchase via its Shanghai Pharma Century Global arm. Pending approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce, the deal is expected to complete by the end of Cardinal Health’s fiscal year.|
The target is a holding unit which controls all of the China-based business of Cardinal Health, a New York Stock Exchange-listed pharmaceutical supplier. Billed as a global and integrated healthcare services provider, the Dublin and Ohio-headquartered group operates through five segments: pharmaceutical distribution, medical devices distribution, hospital direct sales, speciality pharmaceuticals and speciality pharmacies and commercial technology.
Cardinal Health currently serves almost 11,000 medical institutions and other downstream customers through 30 direct-to-patient pharmacies, 14 direct sales companies and 17 distribution centres in China. It provides drugs, medical devices, surgical supplies, speciality pharmaceuticals, vaccines and diagnostic systems and equipment in major cities ranging from Beijing and Tianjin to Dalian and Wuxi. In all, the business owns a storage area of about 146,000 square metres and 7,000 square metres of cold storage capacity.
Cardinal Malaysia posted operating revenue of CNY 25,518 million (USD 3,848 million) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of CNY 553 million in H1 2017. It also had total and net assets of CNY 12,890 million and CNY 1,909 million, respectively, as of 30th June 2017.
The announcement comes as China is planning a reform to tighten oversight of its fragmented healthcare industry, a move that could significantly slow Cardinal Health’s business growth. An unnamed person familiar with the matter previously told Reuters: “The new policy is likely to squeeze margins for most distributors in China. They will be under pressure for future profitability. It does make Cardinal and others worried.”
From Shanghai Pharmaceuticals’ perspective, the deal serves to widen its distribution network, particularly in Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang, Tianjin and Chongqing, among other locations. Commenting on the transaction, the buyer’s chairman Zhou Jun said: “Amid the national healthcare reform, the acquisition of the Cardinal Health China business will further strengthen our leadership in the distribution and retail pharmacy network, and expedite our transformation to become a modern global healthcare provider.”
Last July, Cardinal Health successfully carried out its largest deal on record to buy the medical supplies businesses of Medtronic for USD 6,100 million. In a much smaller transaction early this year, Cardinal Health purchased 6 per cent of Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, an Ohio-based diagnostics and radiopharmaceutical medical products maker, for around USD 7 million.
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|To: richardred who wrote (4633)||11/24/2017 5:58:45 PM|
M-L Holdings Company Crane Group Acquires Chellino Crane
11/08/2017 - 10:31am
M-L Holdings Company Crane Group announced that is has acquired Chellino Crane, a premier crane services company in the Chicagoland area. Founded in 1947 by Sam Chellino, the company has grown to become one of the largest crane companies in the Midwest.
We are excited to add such a great company to our existing network of crane branches.” said Scott Wilson, president of M-L Holdings Company Crane Group. “The acquisition of Chellino Crane extends our reach across the Midwest, allowing our combined customer base to access additional resources quickly and efficiently. The Chellino family and M-L Holdings Company Crane Group will continue to provide the same great service and support customers have grown to value over the years.”
With the addition of Chellino Crane, M-L Holdings Company Crane Group has increased their crane service fleet to a total of 14 full-service branch locations supplying 427 employees, 265 cranes with sizes ranging from 600 tons to 8.5 tons, 475 trailers, 310 road tractors and 75 forklifts.
At M-L Holdings Company Crane Group, we continue to exceed the needs of our current and future customers, providing Nationwide Reach and Local Support.
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|To: richardred who wrote (4641)||11/24/2017 6:18:27 PM|
|Woolston Group targets £50m in revenue after making its first acquisition |
Published: 05:40 Wednesday 01 November 2017
Yorkshire-based Ward Woolston Group has acquired LDH Plant Limited as it aims to build one of the UK’s largest capital equipment dealers in the construction, demolition and waste management sectors. The group, based in Northallerton and the owner of Londonderry Garage Specialist Equipment (LGSE), is now targeting a revenue of more than £50m in the next five years. Established just two years ago, Ward Woolston Group is currently the largest supplier of Hiab truck mounted cranes and multilift demountable equipment in the UK. The company employs 60 people engaged in the sale of new and used machinery, parts and repair services to customers in the public and private sector, Led by managing director Scott Woolston, who co-owns the group with chairman Michael Ward, the business has grown substantially, with revenue increasing from £6 million in 2015 to £10 million in 2017. LDH Plant Limited is a construction equipment supplier based in Newport, Wales with more than 20 years trading experience. Robert Vaughan, the former managing director of LDH Plant, will remain with the business as sales director and Nicholas Higgins will retain the role of operations director. Ear Cancer in Cats Promoted by petmd [Opt out of Adyoulike ad targeting] Mr Woolston said: “LDH Plant is a well-established company, founded on like-minded principles and a strong culture of client care, which will complement and strengthen our services across the UK and create a business with combined revenue of £16 million.” Legal adviser to the Ward Woolston Group was a team from Squire Patton Boggs, led by Corporate partner Paul Mann and associate Maxine Burton.
Read more at: yorkshirepost.co.uk
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|To: richardred who wrote (4475)||11/24/2017 6:27:11 PM|
Chinese Firm Buys CN Tower Builder Aecon for $930 Million By
October 26, 2017, 8:12 AM EDT Updated on October 26, 2017, 4:22 PM EDT
Shares rise nearly 19 percent in early trading Thursday
Transaction expected to close by end of first quarter 2018
A general view of the Toronto skyline in Canada, including the CN Tower.
Photographer: Danny Lawson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images Aecon Group Inc. agreed to be acquired by a unit of China Communications Construction Co. for C$1.19 billion ($930 million) in cash, giving the Canadian company more heft to bid on global infrastructure projects.
Aecon, which helped build Toronto’s landmark CN Tower, said in a statement CCCC International Holding Ltd. would pay C$20.37 a share, or 23 percent higher than Aecon’s closing price Wednesday. The stock closed up 19 percent at C$19.73 in Toronto.
“This is a very positive outcome for Aecon and our key stakeholders," Aecon Chairman Brian Tobin said in the statement. The company will continue to be based in Canada.
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|To: richardred who wrote (4551)||11/24/2017 6:45:35 PM|
Ingram Micro Looks To POS Merchant Services, Security With Acquisition Of The Phoenix Group
by Joseph F. Kovar on November 8, 2017, 10:02 am EST
Printer-friendly version Email this CRN article
Distributor Ingram Micro Tuesday unveiled the acquisition of The Phoenix Group, a specialty distributor of point-of-sales technology with a focus on the integration of security into point-of-sales devices and infrastructure.
The acquisition follows a similar move by Greenville, S.C.-based distributor ScanSource, which in June acquired POS Portal, a specialist distributor of point-of-sale services for SMB merchants.
The Phoenix Group, with headquarters in St. Louis and Toronto, Ontario, brings with it a number of important technologies and new channel relationships, said Jeff Yelton, vice president and general manager of specialty technologies for Irvine, Calif.-based Ingram Micro.
[Related: ScanSource To Buy SMB Payment Devices Distributor POS Portal For Up To $158M]
The primary technology is key injection, which adds encryption to data at the point of sales when a consumer uses a credit or debit card, Yelton told CRN.
Key injection is an important security component of merchant services, which enable businesses to accept encrypted payments from credit or debit card users, he said.
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"Credit card companies created rules and regulations around the PCI, or payment card industry, data security standard," he said. "Point of sales is becoming complex, with a lot of security. The Phoenix Group is one of the best with key injection."
Scott Rutledge, CEO and founder of The Phoenix Group, told CRN that his company has over 500 keys, making it one of the largest key generators in the country and a supplier of keys to banks and ISO, or independent sales organizations. ISOs in the point-of-sales market are the equivalent of solution providers in the IT market, Rutledge said.
The Phoenix Group supports banks and ISOs with their merchant boarding by loading and deploying the key injection technology in point-of-sales systems before shipping, Rutledge said. The company is the leading distributor for POS systems from San Jose, Calif.-based Verifone; Jacksonville, Fla.-based Pax Technology; Paris, France-based Ingenico Group; and others, he said.
The Phoenix Group also brings mobile payments technology to a market where mobile devices are increasingly integrated with POS terminals and cash registers, Rutledge said. "We've seen the need to integrate different devices with P2PE [point-to-point encryption]," he said. "This has become a fragmented market."
The acquisition brings Ingram Micro a new set of channel partners, including banks and ISOs, Yelton said. "It lets us take our cloud offerings and other services to the ISOs," he said. "And it lets us bring secure payment technology to other Ingram Micro partners."
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|From: richardred||11/24/2017 7:02:31 PM|
|Review of the Year: Pharma M&A |
shows its staying power
Published in PharmaTimes magazine - December 2017
With macro drivers boosting the sector and a range of attractive themes driving interest, M&A in the industry remains buoyant Conditions have been ripe for M&A in the pharmaceutical sector in 2017. Low interest rates have provided cheap capital for both financial and trade buyers, while acting as a disincentive to keep large cash balances on reserve; the devaluation of the pound has heightened the attractions of the UK for international investors; and economic uncertainty has boosted the defensive pharma sector’s appeal.
At a global level, we’ve seen further blockbuster deals this year, led in the contract research organisation (CRO) space. UK private equity firm Pamplona paid $5 billion for Parexel; US CRO Covance acquired UK’s Chiltern for $1.2 billion; PE houses GTCR and Carlyle combined to take US CRO Albany Molecular Research private for more than $900 million; and Inc Research and Inventiv merged in a deal worth $4.6 billion.
In the UK though, M&A has once again been led by mid-market entrepreneurial businesses. Not only has international appetite for UK businesses continued and private equity (PE) increased investment, but we are also starting to see mid-market British businesses expanding abroad via acquisition.
One common theme has been interest in businesses that specialise in niche, value-added services, putting them in a strong position to benefit from big pharma’s search for new value drivers and the rise of infrastructure-light biotechs. This is a particular focus for PE, with deals such as Graphite Capital’s and Phoenix Private Equity’s investments in Random 42 and Sygnature Discovery respectively.
Random 42 and Sygnature may deliver different solutions but both provide value-added services to the pharmaceutical industry in non-traditional niches where there is little competition. Random 42 creates interactive experiences for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry through animation and virtual reality technologies, while Sygnature provides outsourced preclinical drug development and research services. This service-led delivery model, which relies less on ownership of a single drug or product, is highly attractive to PE investors.
The same principle, niche specialism, is also driving trade deals. For example, Clinigen acquired Quantum Pharma, who specialise in providing access to hard-to-get drugs, supplying hospitals with medicines that are not licensed in one market but are available elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the trends that are driving big pharma to outsource are creating opportunities for mid-market businesses too. Take Quotient Clinical, which provides an innovative CRO model it describes as “translational pharmaceutics”. The firm’s differentiated outsourced drug development model has secured it sufficient growth that it is now expanding overseas via acquisitions, including in the US this year of QS Pharma for £60 million and Seaview Research.
The themes that make mid-market specialists so attractive have also driven big pharma to diversify away from its core model to look for improved returns, including into more brand-led offerings. The leading Spanish generics manufacturer Laborotorios Cinfa for example, acquired UK-headquartered Natural Sante, a food supplements business.
The pharma sector continues to undergo structural change, creating opportunities for fast-moving, agile businesses. That will drive further M&A activity and investment.
Tom Cowap is principal, specialist in the pharmaceutical sector at Catalyst Corporate Finance. Look out for Catalysts’ Pharma Fast 50 in our March issue, which will look at companies likely to be sources of future M&A activity
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|To: Cautious_Optimist who wrote (4331)||11/24/2017 7:12:38 PM|
|Money will start flowing out of China again, but it'll be much more targeted|
- Experts told CNBC that outbound mergers and acquisition deals from China are expected to pick up in 2018 — despite Beijing's crackdown this year
- Sectors that will benefit are those that are tied to China's Belt and Road Initiative, and are included in the encouraged section of the new investment guidelines
- Outbound deals fell in the first nine months of 2017 compared to a year earlier
Saheli Roy Choudhury | @sahelirc
Published 11:35 PM ET Sun, 12 Nov 2017 Outbound investments from Chinese companies are expected to pick up next year, but that's not necessarily good news for every sector hungry for China's cash.
That is, experts said most of the deal-making will likely happen in sectors aligned with the Belt and Road Initiative — China's massive plan to connect Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa with a vast logistics and transport network.
The experts said there were encouraging signals from the 19th Communist Party Congress that concluded last month.
Developments from the event, "clearly indicated that the Chinese government will continue to encourage overseas expansion," Harsha Basnayake, Asia Pacific managing partner for transaction advisory services at EY, told CNBC. He added that Chinese outbound deals will "be a significant play" in global mergers and acquisitions trends.
Others agreed: "We expect 2018 to be a strong year for China outbound M&A [mergers and acquisitions] as all of the ingredients appear to be in place," Colin Banfield, Citi's Asia Pacific mergers and acquisitions head, told CNBC in late October.
Those ingredients, Banfield said, included the completion of the Party Congress, the "sound macro fundamentals" of the economy, China's push to take a more central role in global affairs, financially well-resourced private sector and state-owned companies and a set of newly implemented rules and guidelines for vetting outbound deals.
What Beijing wants
In early November, Beijing issued a new set of draft guidelines aimed to make outbound M&A easier. As part of those new rules, China is streamlining a process for domestic companies investing over $300 million overseas to gain the required approval from authorities, Reuters reported.
Yet at the same time, Beijing will also increase oversight on the investment practices of overseas subsidiaries of Chinese companies. Previously, businesses could set up foreign companies and use funds through them to do deals, thereby skipping many of China's capital outflow restrictions.
Beijing's recent draft followed guidelines it issued in August dictating what kind of overseas investments would be banned, restricted or encouraged. The move formalized Beijing's attempts beginning last November to control what it called "irrational" foreign investments.
But the Chinese government is doing more than just limiting some kinds of deals, it's also explicitly encouraging other kinds: Experts agreed that the government's strong support for the Belt and Road Initiative, which was written into the Communist Party constitution last month, will mean some redirection to related activities in outbound M&A.
The Belt and Road Initiative involves 65 countries, which together account for one-third of global GDP and 60 percent of the world's population, according to Oxford Economics. As such, experts say certain sectors, and countries, are expected to benefit from the expansion efforts of Chinese companies.
Lian Lian, JPMorgan's managing director and co-head of North Asia M&A, told CNBC investments that can "create need for China's industrial capacity [and] manufacturing capabilities" will likely benefit. Those sectors include infrastructure, natural resources, agriculture, trade, culture and logistics. "These are clearly what they outlined as favored industries," she said, referring to the August guidelines.
Overseas deals in those areas are likely to get faster approvals from the government.
Lian added that a few other sectors will also receive government support, even if they were not mentioned in the August guidelines. Those sectors include food safety, health care and investments that can create more employment in China. "These, although they were not specifically listed in the encouraged list, we believe also will bring benefits to China's economy and should receive support," she said.
Overall, Lian said she is optimistic about deal activities next year, but mega deals will remain more challenging than before Beijing's intervention.
Citi's Banfield added that Beijing would also favor investments that enhance China's manufacturing capabilities in equipment and technology, and provide access to exploration and development of offshore resources.
Meanwhile, although the U.S. and the European Union have always been favored destinations for Chinese overseas M&A, there was interest emerging in countries falling under the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Alicia Garcia-Herrero and Jianwei Xu, economists at French investment bank Natixis. Association of Southeast Asian nations, particularly Singapore, as well as South Korea and South Asia have become focal points since the announcement of the initiative, the economists added.
Garcia-Herrero told CNBC that it would be "really impossible" for Chinese overseas spending to exclusively fit into a Belt and Road framework, but investments in heavy assets like industrials and infrastructure would be "mainly Belt and Road-related." On the other hand, she said, more asset-light targets such as health care, retail, services or technology will "continue to be West-driven."
What Beijing doesn't want In the last few years, Chinese companies went on massive shopping sprees, snapping up deals varying from luxury resorts to soccer clubs. Many of those deals, experts said, were considered trophy assets and did not align with China's economic goals. Outbound deals grew steadily since 2009 and hit about $200 billion in 2016, a year that included a massive $43 billion takeover bid for Swiss agribusiness Syngenta that was announced by China National Chemical Corp.
Authorities grew worried about economic and financial risks tied to some of those deals. Cash was also flying offshore, which added more pressure to an already weakening yuan and it was unclear how much debt firms were taking on to finance those acquisitions.
The spike in outbound M&A activity was a result of China's increasingly massive financial resources and appetite but also decreasing rate of return on investment domestically, according to Garcia-Herrero and Xu. They added in a note that other reasons for the uptick in deal-making included the "lack of geographical diversification of Chinese corporates' assets and the very concentrated risk on a slower growing China."
But after Beijing clamped down on capital outflows, dealmaking took a hit. Data showed that the total number of deals announced in the first nine months of 2017 fell notably when compared to the same period in the prior year.
There was a 12 percent decline on-year on the number of deals announced in the January through September period, according to Dealogic. Meanwhile, Mergermarket data showed the total value of all deals over $5 million, announced in the same period, fell more than 50 percent on-year.
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|To: richardred who wrote (4646)||11/26/2017 1:14:44 PM|
|Why Is China Spending $43 Billion for a Farming Company? The biggest overseas purchase in Chinese history is meant to ensure the world’s largest country can keep feeding its people. |
By Keith Johnson | February 15, 2016, 7:30 AM
China’s biggest-ever overseas acquisition, announced this month, isn’t about gobbling up resources to feed its industrial maw, broadening its financial leverage, or enhancing its strategic position. Rather, the $43 billion bid for Swiss agricultural company Syngenta is about something a lot more basic and a lot more important: ensuring that its farms will be able to produce enough food to keep pace with the country’s still-growing population, already the world’s largest.
Beijing today faces a variation of the dilemma that has bedeviled leaders there for thousands of years: how to feed so many people with so little arable land. China today accounts for about 19 percent of the global population, yet has just 8 percent of its arable land. And unlike other countries with growing populations, there’s no land left to till; indeed, given years of chemical abuse in the countryside and industrial pollution that sowed heavy metals through rice paddies, China’s available farmland is actually shrinking
With the population set to keep growing from 1.3 billion today to 1.4 billion or more by 2030, and with demand for cereal grains rising as the population eats ever more beef and pork, the country needs a quantum leap in agricultural productivity if it is going to feed its population in a generation’s time. Food shortages, or spiking prices for food, have been a recipe for unrest, rebellion, and imperial downfall in China for hundreds of years. Food security, the ability to ensure ample and affordable supplies of food for all, is a political headache for leaders in Beijing who are all too aware that staying in power means keeping rice bowls filled. The Syngenta deal — which is meant to keep Chinese farms humming — could be part of the solution.
“Food security has become more prominent under President Xi Jinping. He personally has put a lot of political capital into emphasizing food security,” said Fred Gale, the senior economist for China at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
It’s not just Xi. Premier Li Keqiang zeroed in on the under-performing agricultural sector in his wide-ranging [url=http://english.gov.cn/archive/publications/2015/03/05/content_281475066179954.htm]critique last year of China’s economy, following former Premier Wen Jiabao’s lifelong focus on food security. For the 13th straight year, China’s guiding annual policy blueprint, the so-called “No. 1 Central Document,” put agricultural innovation at the top of the nation’s wish list. And food security was at the top of the agenda at last year’s summit between Xi and U.S. President Barack Obama.
That’s where the proposed $43 billion purchase of Swiss-based Syngenta by state-owned China National Chemical Corp., or ChemChina, comes in. Syngenta is one of the world’s biggest producers of crop protection products, from pesticides to fungicides to novel types of seeds that can increase harvests of corn, rice, and wheat. It rebuffed a richer offer last summer from rival agribusiness giant Monsanto Co., but welcomed ChemChina’s bid with open arms; Syngenta’s board of directors said in a release that it was “unanimously recommending the offer” to shareholders.
The deal, Syngenta Chairman Michel Demaré said in a statement on Feb. 3, “is focused on growth globally, specifically in China and other emerging markets, and enables long-term investment in innovation.”
It could also be just what the doctor ordered for Chinese leaders. “The Syngenta acquisition is very consistent with their goal of overhauling the agricultural sector; one of the themes of that overhaul is to rely on new technology to boost productivity,” Gale said.
Indeed, ChemChina Chairman Ren Jianxin talked up the deal as a way to “increase global crop yields” and placed special emphasis on the Chinese market, where he said it’s necessary to increase both agricultural productivity and quality.
Of course, the purchase isn’t just a strategic, state-driven decision. It’s also good business for a Chinese firm aspiring to play in the big leagues. ChemChina, in particular, has just in the last year snapped up a host of foreign firms, including a solar power company, Pirelli, the tire maker, a machine-tools concern, and a commodities trading outfit.
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|To: richardred who wrote (4646)||11/26/2017 1:19:33 PM|
|British duck breeder Cherry Valley Farms acquired by Chinese firms |
by GBTIMES Beijing Sep 12, 2017 10:39 INVESTMENT AGRICULTURE
Two Chinese companies have acquired leading UK-based duck firm Cherry Valley Farms for US$183m. Photo is illustrative. Britbrat778899 Pixabay
Two Chinese companies have acquired leading UK-based duck firm Cherry Valley Farms for US$183m.
The acquisition, which includes Cherry Valley Farms’ breeding technologies and patent rights, was jointly carried out by Beijing Capital Agribusiness Group and CITIC Modern Agriculture Investment Company.
Founded in 1958, the company has cornered more than three-quarters of the global duck industry, as well as 80 percent of the Chinese market. It has three operational centres, in England, China and Germany, and sells its produce to more than 60 countries and regions.
Coincidentally, Cherry Valley Ducks, also known as Pekin Ducks, actually originate from Beijing.
China is the world's largest duck market in terms of both farming and consumption. The amount farmed in China accounts for nearly three-fifths of total global production each year.
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