Chinese package delivery company ZTO Express says it has raised US$1.4 billion in the biggest US initial public offering of the year as the firm’s backers cashed in on China’s booming online-shopping industry. Its stock market debut gave Shanghai-based ZTO Express a market value of more than US$12 billion.

India said on Thursday it was expelling a Pakistani high commission staff member for “espionage activities”. A foreign ministry official made the announcement as media reported New Delhi police have arrested two Indian nationals suspected of having passed defense-related documents to the official, Mehmood Akhtar.

In the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attack on Monday night in Quetta, Pakistan, MK Bhadrakumar — a former career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service — writes that now is an opportunity for Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to show statesmanship.

China is to get its first professional rugby union competition as part of a US$100 million investment in the currently low-profile sport by e-commerce giant Alibaba.
As well as professional men’s and women’s 15-a-side leagues, a national seven-a-side program will be set up.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces’ efforts to clear hardline Sunni militants from areas around Mosul where they once imposed a reign of terror is proving to be a slow and risky mission. As events unfold, the battle for Mosul looks more and more like being the longest in Iraq for more than a decade.

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Kenny Hodgart

Kenny Hodgart is an editor for Asia Times.