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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition 2/19/2018 (double)

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 ● The combined Korean women’s hockey team celebrated scoring against Korea’s colonial ruler, Japan, at the Winter Olympics on Feb. 14. Japan went on to win the matchup 4-1. ● Benjamin Netanyahu remained defiant after police recommended he be charged with bribery and fraud. The Israeli prime minister denies wrongdoing, and members of his Likud Party called for him to remain in office while the attorney general decides whether to pursue a case. ● Embattled Chinese conglomerate HNA Group announced it will sell $6b in real estate assets around the globe. The sale is the first part of a planned $16 billion selloff to satisfy hungry creditors. ● China’s former internet regulator, Lu Wei, was accused of corruption and expelled from the Communist Party on Feb. 13, just days before the Lunar New Year. ●…

6 min
all the debt in china

Take a spin around Tianjin’s Binhai New Area, a massive development project about an hour from Beijing, and you’ll see one partially finished building after another—and empty storefronts with black crosses painted on glass doors. Conceived as a futuristic financial hub and business center on par with Shanghai’s Pudong district or New York City, Binhai hasn’t yet lived up to the hype. “Only about one-third of the apartments here are occupied,” estimates Liu Yulan, 75, who moved to the area to be closer to her daughter-in-law. “I don’t see Binhai becoming a boom town.” In January, Binhai government officials made a startling admission. The region was revising down its 2016 gross domestic product—by about 30 percent, to 665.4 billion yuan ($104.9 billion). That news followed revelations of creative accounting by two…

2 min
it never hurts to talk—even with kim jong un

In the quarter century that the world has been dealing with North Korea’s nuclear program, there have been precious few nuggets of good news. The U.S. response to an olive branch from Kim Jong Un may be one of them. Kim’s gambit—sending his sister to the Winter Olympics in South Korea with an invitation for President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang—had provoked some consternation. Was he hoping to divide Moon, who favors rapprochement, from the more hard-line views of President Trump? On his way home from the Winter Games, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said what should have been equally obvious: The allies shouldn’t allow themselves to be divided. Talks, even between the U.S. and North Korea, can and should proceed alongside the global pressure campaign against the North’s nuclear program. Two…

6 min
can he solve america’s drug price problem?

With the U.S. health-care system appearing incapable of taming runaway price inflation, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon think they can do better. Perhaps only titans with the resources of Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase can contemplate such a thing. But changing the convoluted practices that determine drug costs will require them to take on powerful players who are already fighting among themselves. Pharmaceutical companies have come under fire for the ever-rising five- and six-figure prices they charge for life-sustaining drugs. They say those numbers don’t tell the whole story, because middlemen—the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and the insurance companies they work for—collect discounts that aren’t always passed on to patients. The industry is so emphatic about this argument that its lobbying group started a consumer website in January…

3 min
taking the sex out of sports in europe

They’re known as grid girls, walk-on girls, or ring card girls—the attractive, often scantily clad young women hired to work on the sidelines and podiums at male-dominated sporting events. Now many of them are out of a job, as European sports are having a #MeToo moment. “This custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms,” said Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at the auto-racing circuit Formula One, in late January when he announced that grid girls would no longer appear on the track at races worldwide. Formula One Group, based in the U.K., was acquired last year by Liberty Media Corp. of the U.S. Earlier in January, the U.K.-based Professional Darts Corp. said it would stop using walk-on girls to accompany…

5 min
for elevator makers, the sky’s the limit

Two thousand years ago, the Romans used elevators—powered by pulleys, levers, and slaves—to raise gladiators and wild beasts into the Colosseum for death-match spectacles. Since then, elevator technology has been largely based on the same mechanics, with electricity-propelled cables, rather than teams of rope-hauling humans, providing the lift. These days, however, an engineering revolution is going on. Driven by a boom in megatowers the Romans could not have imagined, the global giants that dominate the industry are engaged in technological one-upmanship. Real estate developers are on pace to build 187 towers soaring at least 250 meters (820 feet, or almost the length of three football fields) over the next two years. That’s triple the number of such megatowers built in the entire 20th century. It’s forcing companies such as Kone, Thyssenkrupp,…