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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition 11/27/2017

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

Europe • “Those who wanted Brexit must offer solutions.” Michel Barnier, the U.K.’s top Brexit negotiator, called for ideas to deal with Northern Ireland, which may remain in the European Union system. ● The Turkish lira dropped to a record low after the country’s central bank went against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and effectively raised interest rates. ● Altice unveiled a plan to sell cell towers and other assets to help pay off $58b in debt. Investors had been concerned the French telecommunications company would sell more stock to raise money. ● Aston Martin unveiled the latest iteration of its bestselling model, the Vantage, based on the custom car it designed for James Bond in 2015’s Spectre. ● German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to forge a coalition government. Her conservative alliance had been negotiating for weeks…

7 min
the secret war against fake news is too secret

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have a problem with harmful content. And the consequences of the twin online scourges of political disinformation and terrorist incitement have been on full display lately. During three congressional hearings in Washington, lawmakers and the rest of us learned that as many as 126 million Facebook users may have seen divisive content posted by Russians seeking to interfere with the 2016 election. Meanwhile, in New York, authorities said that an Uzbeki immigrant who killed eight people in a truck attack on Oct. 31 was radicalized online by Islamic State videos. Five days later, tweets amplified by Google News spread phony stories that the shooter in the Texas church massacre had been a supporter of Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (page 20). These developments ought to provide…

2 min
one year too many on campus

The basic cause of America’s student-loan crisis is no mystery: College tuition and fees continue to soar while the earnings of recent graduates remain unchanged. It shouldn’t be surprising that there’s also a straightforward way to lower the cost of a college degree: Reduce the amount of time it takes to earn one. The U.S. four-year bachelor’s degree is based on cultural convention, not pedagogical wisdom. In most European countries, as well as India, Singapore, and Australia, most undergraduate programs take three years to complete. Some U.S. colleges allow enterprising students to finish their requirements early, but that option is available only to those who enter college with sufficient credits from advanced courses taken in high school—and some elite schools are trying to limit even this practice. Defying industry inertia, a small…

5 min
why your favorite radio hits may go silent

Jon Bon Jovi got his big break in the early 1980s after spending an entire day waiting to pester a disc jockey at a radio station on Long Island, N.Y., to play a demo of a song he’d written. The album with that song, Runaway, went on to sell more than 1 million copies and helped fuel the career of one of the most enduring rock artists of the past four decades. Now, Bon Jovi is again lobbying radio officials, and this time the impact could be far larger. He and about 75 other artists—including such staples of the airwaves as Drake, Pharrell Williams, Steve Miller, and Bruce Springsteen—have joined super-manager Irving Azoff’s crusade to press radio stations to boost the royalties they pay writers when they play their songs. That…

4 min
foreign brands lose ground in asia

Doing business in Asia was long considered easy money for Western multinationals looking to boost sales, with beverage makers, cigarette brands, and fast-food giants capitalizing on rising incomes and weak local rivals. A survey conducted by China Market Research Group in 2011 showed that 85 percent of Chinese consumers preferred buying foreign brands. Those days are over. The preference for foreign brands dropped to 40 percent in last year’s survey, mirroring a trend seen in sales of toothpaste in India, laundry detergent in Vietnam, and flavored water across the region. It suggests that Asian labels are more price-competitive or better at addressing local preferences, according to a Nielsen report. That spells trouble for global consumer titans at a time when the Asia-Pacific region’s economic growth is projected to outpace the world’s…

4 min
can sports licensing score outside the u.s.?

Web retailer Fanatics Inc. has crushed the competition in the U.S. sports merchandise industry by selling things fans didn’t realize they needed, such as a $40 New York Yankees money clip or a $50 Green Bay Packers bikini. Now, after securing a $1 billion investment from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.in September, the company is tackling a tougher challenge: sparking an American-style hunger for sports team gear among fans from Bristol to Beijing. Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fanatics has licensing deals with Nascar, the NFL, Premier League soccer teams such as England’s Manchester United, and others. It pairs them with fast-fashion-inspired logistics that let it sell shirts and caps celebrating on-field achievements minutes after the action ends. That logistics savvy drew the attention of SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son, who’s betting that the American way of…