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Business & Finance
Forbes Asia

Forbes Asia June 2017

Forbes Asia chronicles entrepreneurs, executives and companies throughout Asia.

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United States
Forbes Media LLC
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
bull in china’s shop

In the generally benign global economy of 2017, one worry has stood out: a Chinese hard landing. Aspects of this qualm keep resurfacing: heavy debt, shadow-bank “products,” malinvestment, aging population, fouled environment, curtailed dissent. The Communist Party backtracks on reforms, and Moody’s issues a largely symbolic downgrade. At least one financial essayist poses the murmurings bluntly in a booklet: Will China’s Economy Collapse? (No, author Ann Lee answers.) Beijing policymakers have responded not only by revving up many familiar state stimuli but also by crowning these with the Belt and Road projects across Eurasia, involving huge loans to support infrastructure work by Chinese state companies. Official celebration of this effort has been stepped up even as, say some reports, the spending has retreated. There’s still plenty afoot to keep big, old-line…

1 min.
readers say

CONVERSATION ALIA BHATT makes it to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and we can’t keep calm! The actress is also doing a Forbes Instagram take over. Way to go girl!” exclaimed India’s Inuth.com about our list of young talent making waves in Asia (May, p. 40). Pink villa.com added: “Alia has indeed come a long way. In just a span of five years, the gorgeous lady has made it to the prestigious Forbes list. Yes, you read that right!” Ms. Bhatt sounded like an elder stateswoman and tried to downplay the excitement in India’s Pune Mirror: “One has to be conscious about what you say and do. You develop a sense of responsibility, which comes with being in the limelight. I no longer feel as young as people make me…

6 min.
indispensable book about an indispensable man

“With all thy getting, get understanding” George Washington: The Wonder of the Age—by John Rhodehamel (Yale University Press, $32.50)—is a masterpiece, a concise, fluidly written and well-grounded biography. Rhodehamel, who edited two highly acclaimed books for the renowned Library of America series of great American writers (one, naturally, of Washington’s writings and the other of writings from the American Revolution), has executed an accurate and revealing portrait of a man who, more than any other, made possible the creation and subsequent success of the United States. Indeed, Washington emerges as one of a handful of giants in human history. “George Washington was a revolutionary, for a quarter-century the central figure in a radical revolution that aimed at nothing less than the transformation of Western civilization. . . . When Washington died, in…

7 min.
how long of a reach?

The NBA, while a “national association,” conducts a large part of its basketball business on international soil. The brand has grown especially popular in Asia, a region that carries the NBA’s second- and third-largest revenue markets in China and the Philippines, respectively. And yet, despite Asia making up roughly 60% of the world’s population, in a class of 113 foreign players to break camp with an NBA squad this season, not one hailed from that continent (unless you count Australia). In recent years, the league’s dedicated offices for China, India and six other Asian markets have launched initiatives, including newly opened academies, to establish the game across all levels of play. For the NBA to reach its full potential in Asia, the region is going to need stars its fan bases can identify…

2 min.
hello, dollars!

EVEN BILLIONAIRES think there’s no business like show business. These six produced or coproduced Broadway shows this year, and four have Tony-nominated hits. The headliner: Len Blavatnik (with trophy, below), who financed the most shows by far, putting money into seven productions. The Great White Way has long run on the dollars of the ultrarich—even a young Daddy Showbucks named Donald Trump produced a 1970 show called Paris Is Out! It was a flop and closed in less than three months. STEVE COHEN NET WORTH: $13 BIL SHOW: A Bronx Tale– The Musical STAR POWER: Robert De Niro TOTAL BOX OFFICE GROSS: $21.9 MIL MOST EXPENSIVE SEAT: $275 TONY NOMINATIONS: 0 MONEY LINE: “The grocer, the peddler, the whole neighborhood— wherever I go I know my money’s no good.” ROBERT SMITH NET WORTH: $2.5 BIL SHOW: In Transit SHOW: In Transit STAR…

3 min.
aggregating ¥¥¥

With Facebook increasingly playing the role of people’s daily news source, news-aggregation apps like Flipboard are losing their appeal. In China, where Facebook is banned, one such app has achieved staggering early success. Jinri Toutiao, operated by Beijing ByteDance Technology, has surpassed traditional news portals to become the information source of choice for tens of millions of users. The app, whose name means “today’s headlines,” doesn’t have staff writers and editors, using instead artificial intelligence to tailor each newsfeed. Absorbing a user’s location, smartphone model and click history, Toutiao’s algorithm sorts through news, commentaries and video from more than 4,000 partner sites to find the best matches. And in a bid to attract the younger generation, a good portion of what it provides is bite-size, Buzzfeed-style stories, along with comics,…