Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition April 1, 2019

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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in this issue

2 min.
in brief

● Apple rolled out its services strategy, which includes a video-streaming service and a credit card. ▷ 29 Separately, a U.S. judge said Apple had infringed on a Qualcomm patent, risking a partial iPhone import ban. ● After special counsel Robert Mueller closed his two-year probe by finding no evidence of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump in the 2016 election, the U.S. president called for an investigation of the investigators. ▷ 36 ● NASA aborted its first all-female spacewalk outside the International Space Station, blaming a lack of properly configured spacesuits for astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch. •“This is not the Lloyd’s that I want to be part of. It’s simply not acceptable that any woman should not feel safe.’’ Lloyd’s of London Chief Executive Officer John Neal responding to a Bloomberg Businessweek…

1 min.

▶ U.S. car sales are on a bumpy road GM and Ford report quarterly U.S. sales on April 2, and Fiat Chrysler and other automakers post monthly sales. It’s been a tough start to the year for carmakers—even the once-hot market for sport utility vehicles is slowing as consumers hesitate to commit to a new car. ▶ Israel holds general elections on April 9. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for another term amid allegations of corruption. ▶ India’s Reserve Bank announces its rate policy on April 4. New Governor Shaktikanta Das cut the rate for the first time in 18 months in February. ▶ European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will discuss the monetary policy of the countries sharing the euro in Frankfurt on April 10. ▶ The U.S. employment report for March…

2 min.
putin at the gates

Europe is bracing for a Russian propaganda onslaught in the runup to this May’s parliamentary elections. The European Commission predicts the Kremlin’s disinformation operations will be “systematic, well-resourced, and on a different scale to other countries.” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goal is to expand the euroskeptic bloc in the next European Parliament to weaken EU cohesion. To minimize the threat, the commission has more than doubled its spending on counter-disinformation, to €5 million ($5.7 million) this year, and is enlarging its staff of analysts dedicated to tracking disinformation. This won’t be enough. To stop Russian mischief, Europe will also need to prepare its own citizens and deploy legal and diplomatic countermeasures. Consider what Europe is up against. Russia’s Internet Research Agency alone has a budget more than double that of all European…

9 min.
why japan still matters

In Japan, royal successions are emotionally charged moments, turning points in a shared national narrative. On April 30, the Heisei era, which started in 1989 with the death of the wartime monarch Hirohito, will end with the abdication of Emperor Akihito. The next day, the 85-year-old is expected to present his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, with an ancient sword, mirror, and jewel—the regalia called the Three Sacred Treasures—reprising a ritual that’s played out for centuries within the imperial house of Japan. Three decades is but a blink in the fullness of Japanese history, yet there’s a widespread sense that the country has had an epically bad run. Its reputation as an economic juggernaut, earned during its rapid modernization in the late 19th century Meiji era and stunning post-World War II rebound,…

5 min.
the problem with self-regulation

Just the barest facts are unsettling. A federal regulator in the U.S. routinely permits a major American manufacturer to certify that its products are safe. Then, in recent months, 346 people perish. The company, of course, is Boeing Co.; the regulator is the Federal Aviation Administration. And while both say they did nothing wrong, the finer points of how the agency relied on the jetmaker’s assurances about the safety of flight-control software suspected in the crashes of two of its 737 Max jetliners are now the subject of federal investigations. The self-regulatory freedom enjoyed by Boeing is common in the U.S. And it raises questions about the efficacy of the nation’s consumer-protection system, long the envy of the world and part of the reason American products are trusted more than those…

4 min.
a new drug’s delivery problem

The world’s first drug for postpartum depression, Zulresso, cleared a major hurdle on March 19, when it won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But even bigger challenges lie ahead for Sage Therapeutics Inc., the drug’s developer. Zulresso, the brand name for brexanolone, works much faster to treat the condition than anything now available. Experts have hailed it as “groundbreaking,” a “game changer.” And postpartum depression affects as many as one in nine new mothers. These facts alone would suggest Zulresso is destined to be a blockbuster. Yet there’s a difference between a drug that works and a drug that sells. “The quality of life, with a rapid and high rate of response, is tremendous. That is the positive side,” says Kimberly Yonkers, professor of psychiatry at the Center of…