Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition May 27, 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

● The U.S. blacklisted Huawei, saying the company assists spying by Beijing. Huawei denies spying for China. The ban threatens the technology giant’s partnerships with suppliers, including Google. The U.S. is considering barring five other tech companies from work on American components or software, people familiar with the matter say. ▷ 39 •“Enough is enough. I want to work for our beautiful country, but without incidents, accidents, and scandals.” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for snap elections after a secretly filmed video showed an alcohol-fueled meeting at which his deputy promised state contracts to a woman claiming to be a Russian oligarch’s niece in return for cash. ● Commencement speakers, the bar has been raised: Billionaire investor Robert Smith promised to pay off the student debt of Morehouse College’s Class of ’19. ● Luxury powerhouse…

1 min.

▶ Merkel Goes Back to School German Chancellor Angela Merkel will give the commencement address at Harvard on May 30, making a brief appearance in the U.S. at a time when relations between her government and President Trump are strained by the trade war with China and tensions with Iran. ▶ June 3 and 4 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Chinese government using military force to crush the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. ▶ A European Central Bank rate decision is due on June 6. The OECD warned that trade tensions have sent the global economy on a low-growth track. ▶ The U.S. reports May employment figures on June 7. Experts will look for signs of economic growth holding up, with the jobless rate at a 49-year low. ▶ Central banks in…

2 min.
the wrong digital ban

San Francisco, long a vanguard of digital enlightenment, has just made a regressive mistake: It became the first major city in the U.S. to prohibit its police force and government agencies from using facial-recognition technology. Such a ban has an understandable appeal. Concerns about facial recognition are widespread among the public. In just a few years, the technology has advanced at a startling rate. Other countries are using it to repress their citizens, while Americans are accustomed to anonymity in public spaces. Abuses—accidental and otherwise—are all too easy to envision. Simply banning the technology, though, is the wrong response to these worries. The fact is, properly used, facial recognition is a boon for governments and citizens alike. In some places, it’s been deployed to protect borders and other vulnerable sites. In…

9 min.
the enemy of my enemy

In April 2008, Iran’s then-Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki flew to Riyadh to meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. It did not go well. Mottaki was seeking better relations with his country’s chief regional rival. Instead he got a lecture from the king about Tehran’s interference in Palestinian affairs. But “these are Muslims,” Mottaki responded, according to U.S. diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks. “No, Arabs,” replied the king. “You as Persians have no business meddling in Arab affairs.” The king said Mottaki had one year to improve ties. Abdullah didn’t wait that long to make his next move. Moments later he told a delegation of visiting U.S. officials that the Iranians couldn’t be trusted and implored them, in the words of a senior adviser, to “cut off the head of the snake”…

4 min.
nollywood goes netflix

In December 2018, EbonyLife Films, a studio in Lagos, Nigeria, premiered Chief Daddy, a feature-length drama about an eccentric billionaire who dies suddenly, touching off a madcap scramble among his relatives over his estate. The movie was an immediate hit with audiences in Nigeria. By the end of the month it had emerged as the country’s most popular theatrical release of the year. Not long ago the economic life cycle of Chief Daddy might have ended there. Nollywood, the nickname for Nigeria’s robust film industry, has long been hamstrung by piracy. For years filmmakers have watched with frustration as swarms of illegitimate DVDs quickly overwhelmed their promising cinematic efforts, slashing potential profits and making it difficult to raise money to produce future films. But in the spring of 2019 the makers of…

4 min.
sun pharma looks beyond generics

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s lost more during the recent upheaval in the generic drug business than Dilip Shanghvi: He forfeited $17 billion to be precise, plus the title of India’s richest man. After a four-year decline that erased 65% from the value of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the drugmaker he founded, Shanghvi is preparing to bounce back. He’s doing it by borrowing a page from Big Pharma’s playbook: investing in higher-margin patented medicines rather than relying solely on copying drugs. That won’t be easy, especially when the multinationals that dominate the pharmaceutical business have already seen the payoffs from their massive research and development spending become more uncertain. Those giants are increasingly turning to acquisitions to fill out their pipelines, and that’s where Shanghvi also sees an opening. Aided…