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Forbes AsiaForbes Asia

Forbes Asia November 2018

Forbes Asia chronicles entrepreneurs, executives and companies throughout Asia.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Forbes Media LLC
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13 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
sweet nothings

Openness has become a trademark of China.” With that Trump-like whopper, Xi Jinping welcomed multitudes to his import fair in Shanghai this month. The Chinese ruler was there to advance the case that his government is advancing an international market order in the face of rising nationalism (foremost in the U.S., he left unsaid). This is a notion commonly heard at Asian business functions, at least from those with commercial interests in China. For years, I have been told that Beijing has its wise ways of managing an economic rise and little heed should be paid to breaches and excesses, like huge debt; that Chinese output growth would roll on as private firms compete ferociously. Only fools don’t rush in, see? China clearly is now challenged in ways beyond what it faced during…

access_time1 min.
conversation

FORBES’ PROFILE of WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, who recently parted ways with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook (“Seller’s Remorse,” October, p. 30)—and walked away from $850 million as a result—elicited quite a social media response. @dhh tweeted: “The interview is fascinating. The regret is dripping. So yeah, you got rich, but you also sold the one promising rebel base to the empire. How does that feel? Unsurprisingly: Not great.” Ian Bogost was even less impressed: “I dunno, folks. Admitting to being a sellout is honest but not really noble. Calling Zuck/Sandberg greedy aft er the fact doesn’t count as truth-to-power.” Tweeted @DamianCollins: “Once again, so many of Facebook’s problems seem to come from aggressive targets from the top on monetizing their customers with targeted ads and data capture.” CORRECTION: In our October…

access_time3 min.
o canada! there’s hope for you

CANADA’S POLITICS have long been left-of-center compared with those of its southern neighbor. Its rigid socialized medical system, for instance, allows virtually no private alternatives. But things may be changing—at least a bit. In the recent election in Canada’s second-largest province, Quebec, the longserving Liberal Party was routed, not by the traditional opposition party advocating separation from Canada, Parti Québécois, but by the new center-right Coalition Avenir Québec, or CAQ for short. The two older parties are both fond of taxes. The CAQ is skeptical of a proposed national carbon tax and is intent on deregulation, and it may actually reduce taxes. (The downer in this election was the 16% vote garnered by a truly hard-core leftist party, Québec Solidaire.) In a stunner this summer, voters in the country’s largest province, Ontario, overwhelmingly…

access_time3 min.
high ground

The price of iron ore and coal, two of the world’s most widely used minerals, have been rising since midyear even as the U.S. and China ratchet up tariffs. UBS, an investment bank, had been expecting the benchmark price for high-grade iron ore to slip back from $72 a ton to $68 a ton rather than rise to $76 a ton, which is what’s happened. The price increase was good enough for UBS to tell clients with an eye on iron ore mining companies to “watch for earnings upgrades thanks to strong spot [short-term] prices.” So although tentativeness or anxiety about the macroeconomy in an era of trade nationalism is cited in some quarters for recent price dips in global staples such as oil, the commodity picture in Asia-Pacific has contrasts. What…

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ariya’s accolade

Ariya Jutanugarn, 22, started breaking barriers at home long before she became the top-ranked lady golfer in the world in 2017. She made the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament in 2001 at age 11, the youngest ever to qualify for an event. She was the first Thai player, male or female, to win a “major” golf event, at the 2016 Women’s British Open. Jutanugarn turned pro in 2015, and the 2016 LPGA Player of the Year winner has just landed a second POY title in 2018, after winning three times, including a second major (U.S. Women’s Open). As the LPGA schedule wound down, Jutanugarn led the winnings list with $2.5 million in prize money, 61% more than second-ranked Minjee Lee. Bonuses, appearance fees and domestic sponsors like KBank, SCG and Betagro (plus…

access_time2 min.
secrets of an e-banker

Simon Pui Chi Loong may be the only banker on a buzzy office floor in Hong Kong’s Central district—if you ignore an entourage of AIpowered machines acting the role. Loong’s dark suit and dress shirt, a dress code cultivated over 15 years in traditional banking, stands out among a sea of T-shirts and pullovers on nearly 100 staffers in front of the computers at his startup, WeLab. Loong may also soon have the financial hub city’s first fintech IPO. The company, where the founder is also chairman and CEO, filed a prospectus in July and is applying for a virtual banking license as Hong Kong moves briskly toward the new financial order. (In fact, Loong has added banking execs to complement his tech squad.) A $220 million funding round last November…

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