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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition 10/30/2017

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

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Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

3 min
in brief

Asia ● At the end of its weeklong congress, China’s Communist Party enshrined President Xi Jinping’s ideology in its constitution, alongside those of party founder Mao Zedong and reformer Deng Xiaoping. Xi’s “thought for the new era of Socialism with Chinese special characteristics” will now bear on party decision-making. ▷ 39, 49 ● The world’s biggest apparel maker, Crystal International, which supplies Uniqlo and L Brands, filed plans to raise as much as $574 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering. ● Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe easily won reelection on Oct. 22. Seeking a mandate to address North Korea’s increasing aggression, he has said he intends to amend the part of the country’s constitution outlawing war. ● Singapore said it would freeze the number of cars on its roads next year and…

7 min
the end of convivencia

Mariano Rajoy chooses his words carefully. He’s the prime minister who refused to use the term “bailout,” insisting instead that the financial rescue Spain received in 2012 was “a loan with very favorable terms.” On Oct. 21, responding to the crisis over Catalonia’s bid for independence, Rajoy invoked Article 155, a provision of the Spanish constitution never used before that allows Madrid to strip regional governments of their autonomy in times of crisis. He maintained that he was not suspending Catalan autonomy, even as he proposed removing from office the entire Catalan executive body, transferring their duties to corresponding Spanish ministries, and calling new elections in the region within six months. His decision was greeted by many Spaniards as a welcome return to the rule of law and by many…

2 min
asia’s big problem with fake news on facebook

Along with its Silicon Valley brethren, Facebook Inc. is scrambling to respond to pressure from Congress about the flood of fake news and bogus political ads on its site. The deluge is also doing great damage far from Washington. Facebook’s fastest-growing markets are in the developing world, where fake news is even more devilishly complicated and dangerous, if that’s possible, than in the West. In rapidly changing countries such as Myanmar, Facebook has become a platform for hate speech and incendiary rumors targeted at vulnerable minority groups. Elsewhere, shadowy political actors and authoritarian regimes have used the site to smear opponents and tighten their grip on power. In such countries, users are often new to the web, and digital literacy is low. In many cases, people have been subjected for decades to…

7 min
apple has big plans for your little screen

Days before Apple Inc. planned to celebrate the release of its first TV show last spring at a Hollywood hotel, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told his deputies the fun had to wait. Foul language and references to vaginal hygiene had to be cut from some episodes of Carpool Karaoke, a show featuring celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Blake Shelton, and Chelsea Handler cracking jokes while driving around Los Angeles. While the delay of Carpool Karaoke was widely reported last April, the reasons never were. Edits were made, additional episodes were shot, and Apple shifted resources to another show. When Carpool Karaoke was released in August, it didn’t make much of a splash. The early stumbles highlight the challenges ahead as Apple mounts an ambitious foray into showbiz. The…

4 min
ge turns the lights out on the immelt era

For much of the past century, General Electric Co.— whose history stretches back to Thomas Edison’s lightbulb—had been a symbol of the by-the-numbers management credo that ruled American business before the digital age. But GE’s eyesore of an earnings report on Oct. 20 leaves little doubt that the 125-year-old company, with a market value of $186 billion, is facing a financial and cultural senior moment. This icon of American industry has been forced to cut its earnings and cash flow outlook so drastically that investors are now preparing for a once-unthinkable cut to its dividend. A rapid-fire series of high-level departures over the past few months, beginning with longtime Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt, represents a jarring transition for the company. There’s even speculation that GE, the only member of the…

5 min
china’s elon musk is ready for his star turn

For decades, financial pundits in China have been placing Wang Chuanfu, the visionary green technology entrepreneur and chief executive officer of battery and electric vehicle maker BYD Co., at the doorstep of the pantheon of industrialists who dominate the global automotive industry. Nine years ago, mega-investor Warren Buffett took a 10 percent stake in BYD. But gasoline-powered vehicles continued their dominance in China and worldwide, leaving Wang in the shadow of auto chieftains such as Renault’s Carlos Ghosn, General Motors’ Mary Barra, and Volkswagen’s Matthias Müller. Now, 22 years after he founded the company, Wang may finally be proved right. BYD’s shares are back to stratospheric levels as investors bet new environmental rules in China will supercharge sales at BYD, which has grown into China’s largest seller of electric vehicles. The…