The Economist Asia Edition February 27, 2021

The Economist is the premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
51 期号


coronavirus briefs

America passed the tally of 500,000 deaths. Life expectancy at birth in the United States fell by a whole year in the first six months of 2020, to 77.8 years. Johnson & Johnson’s oneshot vaccine is very effective in combating severe infections, including in South Africa, according to America’s drug administration. Studies in England, Israel and Scotland found that mass-vaccination programmes are reducing deaths, transmissions and hospitalisations. A survey by Nigeria’s diseasecontrol centre suggested that cumulative cases in the country are in the millions, and not the 150,000-odd that have been officially recorded. The World Bank threatened to suspend financing for Lebanon’s vaccination drive, after it was reported that politicians got jabs while priority groups were still waiting. → For our latest coverage of the virus please visit coronavirus or download the Economist app.…

the world this week

Politics Ghana became the first country to receive vaccine for covid-19 through the covax programme, a global coalition which distributes free doses to poor countries and is backed by the World Health Organisation. Ghana’s shots were provided by India. Amid calls to speed up the delivery of jabs outside the rich world, the leaders of the G7 pledged more funding for COVAX . America is providing $4bn, but it is resisting calls to share its stock of vaccine, until it finishes its inoculation drive. Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was shot dead near Goma after a UN food convoy he was travelling in was ambushed. Mohamed Bazoum, a former foreign minister, was declared the winner of a presidential election in Niger. The UN’s nuclear watchdog reached a deal with Iran that…

the battle for china’s backyard

DURING THEIR 45-year feud, America and the Soviet Union fought proxy battles all across the world. But the cold war was at its most intense in Europe, where the Soviets constantly worried about their satellites breaking away, and America always fretted that its allies were going soft. The contest between China and America, happily, is different from that. For one thing, the two sides armed forces are not glowering at one another across any front lines—although in Taiwan and North Korea each has an ally in a tense, decades-long stand-off with the other. Even so, in the rivalry between the two powers, there will be a main zone of contention: South-East Asia. And although the region has drawn up no clear battle-lines, that only makes the competition more complex. People across…

the dust-up

THE IDEA of the technology industry being dominated by monopolies is so widely held that it has monopolised much thinking, from investors’ strategies to antitrust watchdogs’ legal briefs. Yet, as we explain, it is getting harder to sustain (see Business section). After a long period of ossification, the industry is entering a dynamic phase. In America digital markets are shifting towards oligopolies, in which second and third firms compete vigorously against the incumbent. The big tech firms are wrestling over customers and data: witness the confrontation between Apple and Facebook over who controls iPhone users’ privacy. And all across Asia digital conglomerates are battling it out. The industry’s emerging structure is a far cry from the open, diffuse capitalism this newspaper supports. But an oligopoly of rivals is much better…

how to make sparks fly

“WHAT IS IMPORTANT is seldom urgent,” declared Dwight Eisenhower. “And what is urgent is seldom important.” Eisenhower did not have to lead America through covid-19. The urgency and importance of the task over the past year have banished pretty much everything else from most leaders' minds. But now that the vaccine is kicking in, Britain's government is once again beginning to think about the things that will matter later. Next week, along with a budget designed to deal with the fiscal strains on the country, it is expected to publish a “plan for growth” to boost productivity, with innovation at its centre. The government is right to try to pull the innovation lever. The world may be on the threshold of a technological boom with life sciences, at which Britain excels,…

fixing africa’s pricey politics

AYISHA OSORI, a Nigerian lawyer and author, has vividly described running for political office in her country. She twists the arms of party elders, flatters their wives and hands over wads of banknotes—the cleaner the better. “Without money”, she concludes, “most aspirations would evaporate like steam.” Politics costs money everywhere, but the link between cash and power is especially corrosive in Nigeria and across much of Africa. In rich democracies parties choose candidates and subsidise their campaigns. In many African ones aspiring politicians pay vast sums to run on a party ticket and then shell out even more to cover their own costs. They give voters handouts, which serve both as bribes and as hints of future generosity. Once in office, they keep spending: on constituents’ school fees, medical bills, funeral…