Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition April 22, 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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50 Issues

In this issue

2 min.
in brief

Qualcomm and Apple settled their two-year legal battle. Apple will make a one-time payment to Qualcomm, which in turn will supply chips—including the 5G parts Apple desperately needs—and license its technology to the iPhone maker. Qualcomm’s stock surged 23 percent on the news, its biggest one-day gain in 20 years. The dual-fuselage stratolauncher completed its maiden flight over California on April 13. With a record-long 384-foot wingspan, the plane can hold a payload of up to 250 tons. It’s intended to carry small rockets to the edge of the stratosphere for hoisting into space. Stratolaunch says its system is more flexible and fuel-efficient than ground launches. Hospital and health-insurance stocks lost $28b in market value on April 16 as investors worried about “Medicare for All” proposals supported by some contenders for the Democratic…

1 min.

▶ Can Facebook Keep Its Friends? Facebook reports first-quarter earnings on April 24. Investors will look for signs that the world’s largest social network can still grow in mature markets such as Europe—while keeping its daily active user base steady and advertisers happy—despite several privacy scandals. ▶ Tesla discloses its first-quarter earnings on April 24 as well. It’s been a tough start to the year for the EV pioneer, with falling demand for its Model 3 sedan. ▶ Russian citizen Maria Butina will be sentenced by a U.S. judge on April 26 for trying to infiltrate conservative American political groups. ▶ Sweden’s Riksbank is set to leave interest rates unchanged on April 25; economists don’t foresee a hike until the last quarter of 2019. ▶ In Boeing’s first-quarter earnings report, also coming on April…

2 min.
the perils of overfishing

Overfishing threatens disaster not only for fish, oceans, and the food supply, but also for fishing itself. The industry’s prosperity declines right along with populations of tuna, shark, swordfish, and other species. Yet all over the world, companies persist in taking more fish than nature can replace. If this practice seems foolish, still more so are government efforts to encourage it. The largest fishing nations spend tens of billions of dollars annually to help fishing companies pay for fuel and vessels. The U.S. government has been a leader of international efforts to end subsidies, but it’s now proposing one of its own: low-interest loans for fishing boat construction. The National Marine Fisheries Service should abandon this disturbing reversal of policy. Subsidies make it possible for enormous boats to travel long distances to…

9 min.
testy neighbors with long memories

The animosity between Japan and South Korea that has persisted for so many generations can sometimes show signs of easing. At least among younger people, there can be a great deal of warmth. Korean readers are among the biggest fans of Japanese author Haruki Murakami, while a best-selling South Korean novel—Kim Ji-young, Born in 1982, about the discrimination a woman faces in her country’s patriarchal society—became a recent hit in Japan. South Koreans vie with Chinese to make up the biggest proportion of foreign tourists visiting Japan, and the number of Japanese visiting South Korea soared by a third, to about 770,000, in the three months that ended on Jan. 31. South Korean K-pop bands such as BTS and Twice are popular among Japanese teens, and Japanese pop idols are…

5 min.
a retailer breaks all the rules

Entering a branch of Don Quijote, the ubiquitous Japanese discount chain, can be a jarring experience. At the entrance of every location is an array of exotic fish that would put many pet stores to shame. It might feel like a drugstore inside, with rows of obscure unguents—think cream for damaged skin made from fish roe—for sale. Go upstairs, and every floor takes on a different identity: a clothing shop with rows of kitschy shirts next to a boutique area with Coach bags, then an electronics shop that sells iPhone accessories as well as cassette tapes. For years, Don Quijote—an unclassifiable seller of everything from humidifiers to sex toys—has been a cult phenomenon in Japan, favored by the cash-strapped households of the so-called recession generation. Now it’s big business. Thanks largely…

4 min.
trouble at the corner drugstore

When billionaire Stefano Pessina took over as chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. in 2015, he soon began hunting for his next big deal. By October of that year, he’d found it: a $9.4 billion plan to buy Rite Aid Corp. that would have vaulted Walgreens past CVS Health Corp. to become by far the largest U.S. drugstore chain. But after he spent almost two years wooing government officials and investors, regulators prevented Walgreens from swallowing Rite Aid. In September 2017, Pessina had to settle for buying 1,932 Rite Aid stores, less than half as many as his original target. As it turns out, that might have spared Walgreens an even more painful reckoning than the one it now faces. On April 2 shares of the company plummeted 13…