Forbes Asia May/June 2019

Forbes Asia chronicles entrepreneurs, executives and companies throughout Asia.

United States
Forbes Media LLC
USD 79.99
13 Números

en este número

2 min.
lessons from lists

Forbes is known for its lists. The most famous are those of the world’s wealthiest people, yet Forbes Asia also features other notable lists, such as this issue’s Global 2000 ranking of the world’s 2,000 best big companies. Later on in the year we’ll also have the Best Under a Billion list, of the 200 best performing companies with sales under $1 billion, and the Fab 50 list of the 50 best large companies, both for the Asia-Pacific region. It’s worth delving into our screening process for these company lists, since our methodology is what sets our lists apart from those found elsewhere. For others, a ranking based on a single metric is enough, for example, companies ranked by sales or profits. The issue with a single metric is that…

8 min.
capitalism ain’t kaput

HARDLY A DAY goes by without some eminence from business or finance proclaiming with furrowed brow and seeming sorrow that capitalism is in crisis and must be overhauled if it is to survive and not be replaced with some variant of socialism. Inequality, climate change, obscene levels of corporate profits, stagnant wages, soaring healthcare costs, crushing levels of student debt, rampant Wall Street greed, high-tech monsters and much more are all laid at the feet of an allegedly heartless, unresponsive capitalistic system. It ain’t so. Contrary to all this highbrow hand-wringing, the problem is bad government policies and, worse, a fundamental misunderstanding of free markets. It’s time for a reality check regarding this much-maligned system. Capitalism, free enterprise, free markets—whatever you label our system—is moral because one succeeds by meeting the needs…

3 min.
china is growing consumption, not debt

The gloom over China’s economic slowdown got gloomier when China’s government repeatedly dashed expectations that it would open up the lending spigot as it did before. Anticipating what China’s government will do based on what it did in the past is just wrong, like driving by looking into the rearview mirror. The fact is that China has no stomach for a new, debt-fueled investment binge after having just painfully reined in its shadow banking sector. More importantly, it doesn’t need one. Domestic consumption, especially in services catering to urban households, has become a much more powerful engine of growth. That changes everything. Even though China’s services sector still accounts for only about half of GDP, its rapid transformation has turned it into a driving force behind job and income growth. China…

9 min.
the world’s biggest companies

China continues to sit atop the Global 2000, our annual ranking of the largest listed companies. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China took the top spot for the seventh consecutive year. After being runner-up for the past six years, China Construction Bank slipped to No. 3 as JPMorgan Chase moved to No. 2. Companies from China and Hong Kong account for 309 entries on the 2019 list, up from 291 last year, thanks largely to 13 newcomers that vaulted onto the list after IPOs. Most notable was Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, debuting at No. 426. Regionally, the Asia-Pacific leads the 2019 list with 790 companies—40% of the list—with a combined market value of $15.5 trillion. Combined, the 2019 Global 2000 companies took in $41.2 trillion in revenues, earned $3.4…

7 min.
googling blockchain

t’s a balmy 27 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really…

6 min.
whopper of a turnaround

Challenge: Make a 60-year-old hamburger chain into something cool. Daniel Schwartz accepted that assignment six years ago after 3G Capital took over Burger King and named Schwartz chief executive. He was 32. Burger King was a tired outfit, with a confusing menu and sales going sideways. Its restaurants averaged half the revenue of McDonald’s. But where there is underperformance, there is opportunity. Schwartz slashed overhead at the Miami headquarters. He streamlined food preparation. He dished out stock to middle managers. He shrank the payroll and the capital budget by selling company-owned stores to franchisees. In the years since, Burger King has become Restaurant Brands International (following some more classic 3G dealmaking). Restaurant Brands is now a growth stock. Burger King opened up 1,000 restaurants around the globe last year, compared to…