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Chinese metal tycoon's liquidity woes disrupt copper trade

He Jinbi's Maike imported at a loss, leaving gap others can't fill

Maike handles nearly one-third of China's refined copper imports.

China's top copper importer has been sued by a state-owned client for 1 billion yuan ($148 million) due for undelivered contracts, adding to a liquidity crisis at a private company that has disrupted the country's copper trade with global mining giants such as Glencore and BHP.

Xi'an-headquartered Maike Metal International Group was sued by Xiamen Xindeco, seeking repayment after Maike failed to fulfill parts of their electrolytic copper import contracts, Xindeco said last month in a statement.

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