Forbes Asia March 2020

Forbes Asia chronicles entrepreneurs, executives and companies throughout Asia.

United States
Forbes Media LLC
USD 79.99
13 Números

en este número

2 min.
stress test

One cannot cover the business scene in Asia these days without highlighting the challenge presented by the outbreak of the coronavirus (officially Covid-19) for the region’s entrepreneurs, companies, governments and economies. Just one example: Hong Kong’s financial secretary recently said the outbreak could deal a “tsunami-scale blow” to the city’s economy. The Covid-19 outbreak will also have a negative impact on the global economy. The worst-hit areas are in and around Wuhan, China, the source of the virus, but the impact is being felt acutely across most of Asia—and indeed the global economy. The most obvious industries being affected are airlines, retail, F&B, hospitality and tourism. Insurance will no doubt take a big hit from various claims. Then there’s the stress put on the medical industry—a major problem is the lack of…

7 min.
how to save u.s. politics

Critics of the much-maligned Electoral College overlook one of its fundamental virtues: tamping down dangerously divisive politics. Advocates of replacing this “18th-century anachronism” with a straight popular vote implicitly assume the current two-party system would remain intact and that the candidate with the most individual votes—instead of electoral votes—would win the White House. That’s the way things work for every other elected office in the U.S.; why wouldn’t it be so for the most important one of all? But the basic two-party arrangement we take for granted exists only because of the Electoral College. To win the presidency, a candidate has to appeal to people across the country. A nationwide coalition is essential to gaining a majority in the Electoral College. A narrow sectional or special-interest base simply won’t cut it.…

3 min.
cloud pleaser

Microsoft is on a monster win streak. Its stock price, which had barely risen above its 2000 peak prior to 2017, has now risen almost threefold in the past three years. On any given day, Microsoft or Apple stands as the world’s most-valued company, at close to a trillion-and-a-half dollars. Behind the surge is CEO Satya Nadella’s transformative bet on cloud computing, which he announced upon taking the post in 2014. The risk was huge, since Microsoft’s cloud computing engine, Azure, was then far behind cloud pioneer and leader Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM and others. Nadella gave his old job, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud+AI Group, to Microsoft executive Scott Guthrie and asked Guthrie to make Azure competitive with giant AWS. Guthrie has succeeded. Microsoft’s cloud business reported $12…

3 min.
new decade, new paradigm

Much of the handwringing over China and emerging markets this year has stemmed from the unfolding damage caused by the Covid-19 outbreak—but while the virus is still spreading, it’s hard to know the final cost. We can, however, make a few judgments on the effect of U.S.-China trade war on emerging markets, which were supposed to hammer Chinese exports. It was also assumed that China-centric global supply chains would be disrupted—even partially dismantled—and that emerging markets in Asia that are part of them would be adversely affected. Yet China’s total exports in 2019 were virtually unchanged from 2018, falling by only 0.03% in dollar terms even as the trade war intensified. Chinese exports to the U.S. fell more than 8%, but China was able to almost completely compensated for that shortfall…

6 min.
sky’s the limit

It was his own frustration with air travel that inspired Malaysian Song Hoisee to get into the airport lounge business. “I founded this business out of my own bad experience,” says the 62-year-old founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group International, which he launched in 1998. Today Song’s Plaza Premium—of which he owns 100%—claims to be the world’s largest independent airport lounge operator, managing more than 70 lounges in 46 airports in 22 countries across four continents. Its roughly 5,000 employees serve more than 16 million passengers annually, nearly one in every 116 international air travelers. Despite the coronavirus shock on the travel industry, Song remains optimistic on air travel’s long-term future—after all, he’s already survived two previous crises, the Asia financial crisis and the SARS outbreak. He is now investing more…

7 min.
kevin durant’s hardest three-point play

The sleek apartment overlooking Manhattan’s High Line park frames the owner of this mansion in the sky, the NBA superstar Kevin Durant, who is so trim he looks even taller than 208 centimeters. Settling into a blue velvet couch, Durant can toggle between the stunning skyline and his trophy-stacked office, for MVP, All-Star and other superlatives. (His two NBA championship rings, won with the Golden State Warriors, are in the bedroom.) But Durant’s focus is on present challenges rather than past wins. Across from his trophy room sit a Pilates machine and a cagelike strength and balance trainer called a Sensopro, here to assist a career-saving comeback as he rehabs the Achilles tendon he ruptured during June’s NBA Finals. That season was done—the current one too. “What’s most important is to…