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With more than 1 billion users across the globe, TikTok has taken the social media world by storm. Users of all ages across the world spend time on the app daily, engrossed in the latest trends, dances, products, and more, making the app the second-most popular web domain worldwide. While the platform may have experienced exponential growth over the last few years, this trend might start to reverse, thanks to new bands countries are placing on the app.

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The global surge for renewable energy is increasing yearly, with record numbers set in 2020 and 2021, with expectations of this trend to continue with 2022 reports. Many countries have been increasing their use of solar, wind, and other energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint and help have energy independence. Some countries have begun to increase their industry and supply of solar panels. At the same time, some expect to increase their use within their borders. Whether in Europe, Asia, or North America, renewable energy will be in high demand in the upcoming years.

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The discovery of a sizable rare-earth element deposit in Sweden raises new expectations for Europe's transition away from fossil fuels and a reduction in the reliance on China, which currently supplies most of the vital minerals. Rare-earth elements are essential for renewable energy and electric vehicles. The Swedish state-owned mining corporation LKAB has already started creating a strategy to extract the components from the largest known deposit in Europe. The deposit contains certain rare-earth elements that might be utilized to make permanent magnets, which are needed to power electric motors and wind turbines. The mining of iron ore may result in the production of rare-earth elements as a byproduct.

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In China, many business owners are excited  for a new year with no restrictions as China has lifted the Zero COVID-19 Policy. On December 7th, 2022, China put an end to this policy. The critical question is what this means for China’s economy for the coming years and the effect on the supply chain. The world is connected through China-centric supply chains, and any ‘delay’ in those chains causes global production and the world economy trouble. The abrupt move away from the Zero COVID policy could mean that China may begin focusing once again on economic growth. However, China is now facing new supply chain issues and a wave of COVID-19 sweeping through the country, impacting the growth of these newly opened supply chains.

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Welcome back to the globalEDGE Blog! Our student authors have returned from their Michigan State University winter breaks and are excited to begin the Spring 2023 season of the globalEDGE blog.

We will be posting blogs every Monday through Thursday. Keep checking in to find new stories regarding international topics, including specific market overviews, analysis of growing industries, current events in business, and more!

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This week marks the end of the Michigan State University Fall 2022 semester. Our student blog writers will be leaving the university campus for our winter break, and will be returning at the beginning of January. Over break, our team members will be traveling and spending time celebrating the holidays.

We would like to acknowledge a graduating student and our globalEDGE blog editor, Chloe Jaessing. Chloe is graduating this December with a Major in Finance from the Broad College of Business. She has been tirelessly working to keep the globalEDGE blogs up-to-date for all of our readers. To read some of Chloe’s blogs throughout the years, click here.

The globalEDGE blog will return January 16th, 2023. In the meantime, we hope our readers continue to enjoy all the other areas of the globalEDGE website!

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As agricultural growth ramps up, drought continues to worsen. This is especially prominent in the Southwest regions of the United States as they face the worst drought in 1,200 years. Rural communities in La Paz County, Arizona have been noticing water disappearing left and right. The water workers in Wenden, Arizona are reporting that they have "never seen anything like this" as they noticed moving water in a well where the water is typically still. This massive underground reservoir stores water built up over thousands of years and was discovered to be moving due to someone pumping it rapidly out of the ground. With further research, it was found that there was a neighboring well belonging to Al Dahra, a United Arab Emirates-based company that was pulling this water for its own benefit.

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