Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition August 9, 2021

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

Worldwide coronavirus cases now top 200m and almost 4.3 million have died. Meanwhile, more than 4.2 billion vaccine doses have been given. Israel, among the most vaccinated nations, warned it may reimpose lockdowns as cases there climbed. It’s called on employers to switch to work-at-home and tightened travel restrictions. Tencent pledged to limit video game playtime for minors to one hour on weekdays and two on holidays. The company is seeking to blunt criticism from Chinese authorities, who’ve decried gaming as “spiritual opium,” raising concerns in the industry about a possible crackdown. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un appeared in public wearing a large bandage on the back of his head. The sightings have stoked speculation about Kim’s health. Medical information about the reclusive leader, who is overweight and a smoker, is one of the…

3 min
the fda’s senseless lack of urgency in full vaccine licensing

As calls for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fully approve Covid-19 vaccines grow louder, the agency itself has little to say. This is a mistake. The FDA insists it’s “working as quickly as possible” and has suggested that full approval may come for at least one vaccine by the end of summer. The public is left wondering: What’s taking so long? This isn’t just a minor nuisance. It undermines trust in the vaccines and damages the FDA’s most valuable asset, its credibility. The drug regulators have good reason to insist on thoroughly reviewing many months of clinical trial data before fully licensing any medicine. The emergency use authorizations for the vaccines now administered in the U.S. were based on just two months of follow-up data; that was enough to be…

1 min
pumping a profit

Zambia holds general elections on Aug. 12. President Edgar Lungu is running for a second term, in a rematch with Hakainde Hichilema, who narrowly lost the previous vote. Berlin hosts a summit of world mayors to discuss urban development on Aug. 11. The group includes leaders from Istanbul, Los Angeles, Seoul, Zurich, and other cities. Microsoft will start phasing out support for its once-popular Internet Explorer on Aug. 17, as it focuses resources instead on expanding the Edge browser. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand sets interest rates on Aug. 18. The country has followed strict Covid restrictions, helping its economy weather fallout from the pandemic. Indonesian President Joko Widodo will deliver his national budget speech on Aug. 16. Hard hit by a recent flare-up of the coronavirus, the country has been forced to…

7 min
less talk more pivot

President Joe Biden has pledged an era of “extreme competition” with the People’s Republic of China. For the U.S., that means being able to challenge Beijing for the commanding heights of global commerce, to shape the rules around trade and technology, and—if push comes to shove—to fight and win a war with the world’s second-largest economy. The question is how to steer the behemoth U.S. military, which has almost 2 million personnel across six branches, away from the Middle East and terrorism to focus on a new region and different threats, 20 years after the Sept. 11 attacks and the ensuing invasion of Afghanistan. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III has dubbed China “the pacing challenge”—military-industrial verbiage for the leading competitor. In June, Austin issued a directive aimed at reorienting the…

6 min
china’s ev evangelists

Emma Meng, dressed in a pale pink Victoria’s Secret top, faces the selfie stick reflected in her bathroom mirror and ties her tresses back into a tousled ponytail. Young and fresh-faced, she may seem ready to offer a hairstyling tutorial or skincare review. Instead, she launches into a dissection of Tesla Inc.’s Battery Day, complete with an analysis of its 4680 power cell and the latest developments on nickel cathodes. Meng, or EV Emma as she’s known to her 700,000 followers, is among the swelling ranks of Chinese influencers blogging, vlogging, and flogging cars in the world’s biggest electric vehicle market. The money is so good that some like Meng, who graduated from Cambridge University in 2013 and worked as a regional business developer in France, were able to ditch their…

6 min
tomato fish is the catch of the day

When a tuna marketing executive took a bite of the dehydrated tomato seasoned with olive oil, algae extract, spices, and soy sauce early last year, he was shook. “This is going to be a problem for us,” he said. At least that’s how Ida Speyer, co-founder and chief executive officer of Mimic Seafood, recalls it, designating it the highest praise she could’ve imagined for the delicate slice of tuna that—despite what the marketing executive’s taste buds indicated—contained no tuna at all. The Madrid-based startup’s Tunato product, fabricated from a specialty tomato grown in southern Spain that resembles sliced sushi-grade tuna in shape and size, is part of a growing class of food innovations fighting for the last empty shelf in the booming plant-based protein market: seafood. Faux fish, which Speyer concedes “maybe…