As $1-trillion (R14.4-trillion) evaporated from Chinese stocks last week, some investors realised they hadn't paid enough attention to the country's most important man: President Xi Jinping.

Traders began scouring databases and other collections of Xi's speeches to find clues about which industries might be next after his administration abruptly smashed the country's $100bn for-profit education sector, according to several employees at Chinese financial firms. Screenshots of key passages made the rounds: Xi denouncing "obscene" online content, education inequality and housing-price speculation in school districts...

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