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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition June 8, 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

China said it had tested 11m people for the coronavirus in the space of two weeks. Authorities applied a batch testing method that enabled health workers to simultaneously assess as many as 10 samples. President Trump postponed the annual Group of Seven summit of world leaders to September. He also suggested he might enlarge the gathering to include Australia, India, Russia, and South Korea, calling the current arrangement “very outdated.” The U.K. and Canada indicated they’d block any attempt to readmit Russia, which was ejected from the group of advanced economies after it annexed Crimea. “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper, disagreeing with President Trump’s suggestion to deploy troops to confront protesters in U.S. cities.…

3 min
the u.s. needs a different china policy

China’s decision to impose new anti-subversion legislation on Hong Kong is a mistake—a blow to the city’s autonomy that will undermine its economic success. And it’s further proof, if any were required, that the U.S. needs a smarter, more effective strategy to deal with the People’s Republic. On May 29, President Trump promised targeted sanctions and trade restrictions in response to China’s move and to a long list of existing grievances. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already declared Hong Kong no longer “sufficiently autonomous” under U.S. law to qualify for the special trade status it’s enjoyed until now. In deciding how to follow through, the administration should move carefully. It need not, and should not, plan to cancel all of Hong Kong’s economic privileges, because that would hurt Hong Kongers without…

1 min
picking up the pieces

The Federal Reserve meets on June 10 to set interest rates as the U.S. economy enters the worst recession since the Great Depression, with more than 40 million unemployed. Borrowing costs are already near zero. On June 9, EU trade ministers meet to consider a new head for the World Trade Organization. Spain’s foreign minister, Arancha González, is seen as a favorite for the position. In a videoconference on June 9-10, EU finance ministers will discuss their joint approach to an economic recovery from the pandemic as lockdowns ease in member states. Pakistan unveils its annual budget on June 12. With Covid-19 cases spiking in the country, the focus will be on increased military spending and support for the economy. Billionaire money manager Jeffrey Gundlach speaks on June 9 on a webcast for his…

9 min
stop killing black men

The economics profession has had a hard time getting a fix on racial discrimination. Quite apart from its cruelty, it seems … illogical. One of the first lessons in microeconomics is that workers are paid a sum equaling the marginal product of their labor—their value to the enterprise. Any employer who tried to pay them less would lose them to a competitor. Clearly that doesn’t always happen in the real world. For more than half a century, some of the biggest names in economics have wrestled with why, including Nobel laureates Gary Becker, Edmund Phelps, Kenneth Arrow, Joseph Stiglitz, George Akerlof, and Michael Spence. All white men, by the way. The question is urgent because racial discrimination is the fuel of the anger and discontent that have spilled onto the streets. The…

5 min
a buyout firm’s four-legged future

Visitors walking into the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, N.J., immediately know it’s not your typical trip to the vet. The building—one of the largest private animal hospitals in the U.S.—is a stately labyrinth of care rooms circling a lobby with a sprawling fish tank column at its center. There are auditoriums where practitioners present research on advances in veterinary science. Even the clientele of the facility, one of 42 practices operated by Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, are top-shelf: Bruce Springsteen’s dogs have been treated here. “What I told everyone was that I wanted this group to become the Mayo Clinic of veterinary medicine,” says John Payne, who founded the company in 2014 after previously running veterinary hospital operations at Mars Inc. and Bayer AG’s animal health division. “It wasn’t…

8 min
the woman who can sell anything

Forget Willy Loman or The Music Man’s Professor Harold Hill. Huang Wei, China’s livestream shopping queen, really can sell anything. In April, for instance, Huang, known professionally as Viya, sold a rocket launch for around 40 million yuan ($5.6 million). That’s nothing compared with her 2019 performance on Singles Day, China’s biggest shopping event of the year, when she logged more than 3 billion yuan in sales. That’s more than the annual gross domestic product of some nations, including Palau and São Tomé and Príncipe. The live, online shopping extravaganza the 34-year-old hosts every night for her fans across China is part variety show, part infomercial, part group chat. Each evening, Viya’s audience places orders worth millions of dollars—typically for cosmetics, appliances, prepared foods, or clothing, but she’s also moved houses,…