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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition May 18, 2020

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

2 min
in brief

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, plans to test its entire population of 11 million people again after reporting new infections for the first time since it lifted its lockdown on April 8. Globally, there are 4.3m cases, and 294,000 people have died. “It could almost turn the clock back rather than going forward.” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned in testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Health Committee on May 12 of the perils of easing lockdown measures too soon. Norway plans to withdraw a record 382 billion kroner ($37.3 billion) from its sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest. It’s by far the biggest cash-out yet by the oil-rich country, which is hurting from the twin fallout of the pandemic and…

3 min
to restart business, protect workers

States that are reopening their economies even as cases of Covid-19 are still rising are threatening their own residents and the whole country. But they’re also running into two challenges that all states will face: Employees don’t want to return to work if they fear exposure to the coronavirus on the job, and employers don’t want to get sued if their workers or customers end up sick. Both concerns are reasonable, and both could further cripple the economy unless Congress steps in. It’s essential that companies take actions that protect their employees, yet they’re getting little federal guidance in what exactly that means. Even those that take every conceivable precaution, however, will face unprecedented liability concerns that could paralyze investment and prevent them from rehiring workers they may have laid off…

6 min
what if the potus tests positive?

The news that President Trump’s valet and Vice President Pence’s press secretary had both contracted Covid-19 sent a scare through the White House. While officials said both leaders subsequently tested negative, the episode raised a worrisome possibility: What happens if Trump or Pence is stricken—or, worse, if both become ill at the same time? The result could be anything from a temporary disruption to a full-blown constitutional crisis with competing claims on the presidency. What’s critical, experts say, is that the identity of the commander-in-chief be clear in any situation. At least one scenario could arise where it wouldn’t be. The degree of economic and geopolitical fallout would depend heavily on the severity of the illness, and especially on whether Trump himself became incapacitated, say current and former White House officials and…

5 min
sweden is not the world’s top model

On May 8, Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell gave an interview via Zoom from a parked car. The hot pink cord of the earbuds plugged into his phone flapped distractingly in the foreground. Before this year, it would’ve been hard to scare up 10 journalists to listen to him or any other epidemiologist, but Tegnell drew 450 reporters and other curious people from 60 countries. An additional 10,000 have since listened to the recording of the colloquy with Joyce Barnathan, president of the International Center for Journalists. The next few weeks or months will tell whether Tegnell’s strategy is brilliant or—as many experts outside of Sweden believe—benighted. The Swedish government has deferred to him and his fellow scientists to set the rules for a relaxed semi-shutdown of Swedish society in response…

19 min
the beatings will continue until morale improves

To make it to the press conference after his first Ultimate Fighting Championship win, Cung Le needed a wheelchair. The cut above his eye required stitches, and he’d bruised a foot so badly kicking his opponent in the head that he was worried it was broken. As he made his way to his microphone on crutches, he recalls, he already knew his boss was pissed that he looked so hurt. When Dana White, president of the mixed martial arts promoter, saw Le wheeling to the press conference, Le remembers him saying, “What the f---?” The event that night had drawn 15,000 people to Las Vegas’s MGM Grand Garden Arena, with 900,000 pay-per-view customers watching at home. When a reporter asked Le, who’d won a unanimous decision in one of the main…

6 min
china’s malls are starvedfor traffic

For decades, North Sichuan Road was Shanghai’s answer to Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay—a place where thousands shopped daily for everything including food and designer clothes. But that was before the new coronavirus. Now the local Printemps, a franchise of the glitzy Paris department store, has closed its doors, a nearby shopping center has shut for renovation, and few people were browsing the neighborhood on a recent evening. It’s an ominous sign for a once-vibrant segment of the world’s biggest consumer market: restaurants and the malls that depend on them. Food, whether daily essentials or haute cuisine, has been a people magnet in China’s malls since they started to take off a decade ago. Landlords have welcomed restaurants, which Changjiang Securities estimates account for about a third of mall tenants, safe in…