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Business & Finance
Forbes Asia

Forbes Asia May 2018

Forbes Asia chronicles entrepreneurs, executives and companies throughout Asia.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Forbes Media LLC
Frequency:
Monthly
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
mapping opportunities

If past performance is a guide, Malaysia’s election in early May will be a messy referendum on the country’s ruling clique. Prime Minister Najib Razak is using the powerful prerogatives of incumbency against a challenge led by his onetime mentor, former strongman Mahathir Mohamad. Awkwardly allied with Mahathir’s coalition is long-denied opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, still in jail under Najib (as he was previously under Mahathir). The result is unlikely to do much for transparent rule of law in Malaysia, let alone for its state-directed economy, which bumps along in spite of it all. But the electoral circus at least tolerates a level of dissent that allows the nation to escape the “not free” category again in this year’s world map from the respected U.S.organization Freedom House. Those are the purple…

1 min.
readers say

CONVERSATION OUR THIRD ANNUAL listing of young innovators created quite a buzz in Asia (“30 Under 30,” April, p. 27). The athletes category included a snooker star (yes, snooker), Ng On Yee, who tweeted: “Surprised yet honored to be listed! Always proud to see Hong Kong Sports gain international recognition!” Stumagz cofounder Sri Charan Lakkaraju, a recipient in media and marketing, said in thenewsminute.com: “I feel elated to be part of such a league. It is definitely a morale boost and has inspired me to dream bigger.” Social entrepreneur Ashleigh Streeter-Jones, cofounder of Girls Takeover Parliament, which addresses gender issues in Aussie politics, said in canberratimes.com: “This award opens up a world of possibilities for our work.” A less youthful reader, @jamesladd, was not as enthusiastic, tweeting, “No thanks—I’m waiting for…

6 min.
is the gop suffering from tax-cut amnesia?

LOST AMONG porno actress allegations, Syrian chemical weapons, food fights between the President and a rogue ex-FBI director, a North Korea summit and possible trade wars is the issue of tax cuts. The White House barely mentions the subject these days, and many Republicans are remarkably mum about what’s usually their signature issue. With barely concealed glee, the New York Times recently ran the headline: “Public’s Interest in Tax Law Has Slipped, and So Has Trump’s.” This is a big mistake on the part of the GOP. It needs issues to excite and turn out its base, particularly those who voted for Trump. Right now, a good number of those folks are staying home, as evidenced by the elections in Virginia last November and a special congressional election in a Pennsylvania…

7 min.
flying high

The future of Cambodia’s economy, as Tekreth Samrach, chairman of the government-controlled flagship airline, sees it, is in tourism. And thanks to China, tourism, like many sectors in the economy, is surging. “To be frank, everyone goes to China to make money,” he says from his office decked with pilot caps and model planes. “So we have to go to China to make money, too.” Following that logic, the government appears to be making a sharp break from its long-standing partnership with French infrastructure conglomerate Vinci. It’s drafting plans and starting work on two new airports backed by mainland money, despite granting an exclusive, 45-year concession on international airports to a company majority-owned by Vinci. That concession isn’t supposed to end until 2040. The government’s move is meant to address the…

3 min.
pirate play

A ban on licensing rights to distribute mobile games inside China, levied against South Korean developers for the past year, has hurt the bottom line of the gaming industry’s premier exporter and instead has allowed local copyright infringers to profit wildly in the Chinese market. A block on new licensing for product distribution in China came in March 2017 after the South Korean government granted the U.S. permission to install the THAAD missile defense battery and radar system on South Korean soil. Since then, not a single new license has been granted for South Korean gaming companies, including Wemade, Bluehole, Smilegate and Nexon, which are some of the world’s most popular online developers. In that time the Chinese government has authorized the distribution of at least 412 licenses to foreign-made games. Since…

9 min.
idealist on a mission

Technology guru Taizo Son is on a mission to improve radically the way urban dwellers live and work. He envisions lush green cities where people enjoy largely car-free living, traveling about in vehicles underground or in drones overhead. Most people won’t work in offices; instead they’ll share ideas in cafe settings over steaming lattes. As for keeping healthy, there’ll be do-it-yourself checkups in futuristic bathrooms for monitoring the essentials, and robot chefs to whip up healthy, delicious meals. It sounds far-fetched, the stuffof science fiction. But this 45-year-old visionary, the youngest brother of SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, is committing millions of dollars to these ideas. To make them a reality, he pulled up stakes in his native Japan a year ago and moved himself and his family to Singapore. From his…