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Business & Finance
Forbes Asia

Forbes Asia November 2017

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

1 min.
stark clarity

When the latest Rohingya migration out of what is now Myanmar into what is now Bangladesh mushroomed this summer into the greatest of all refugee crises of 2017, it did two clarifying things: • It showed that Myanmar’s democratic opening has not produced rules or—sadly— moral leadership that can bring the country sufficiently out of its dark half-century of isolation and ostracism. That liberal project is going to need time and work—and more of an assist than its Southeast Asian neighbors seem fit to provide soon. • It raised the stakes for the future of Bangladesh, which receives less global attention per population (165 million) than anywhere on earth. The nation tentatively has accommodated 600,000 new inhabitants—with perhaps more to stream out of Rakhine State—but what will follow, not only in the…

1 min.
readers say

CONVERSATION LOOKS LIKE Kiran Mazumdar- Shaw didn’t spend much time reading our ranking of India’s 100 richest (October, p. 50), even though she came in at No. 72: “A rich list is an annual map of wealth creation largely based on stock value and real estate. I don’t give it much thought other than it reflects the state of the economy,” she told Press Trust of India. The Daily O of India was downright gloomy: “India’s 100 richest are getting wealthier while economy slows down . . . utterly depressing. Forbes’ list reveals the rich are unaffected by PM Modi’s controversial economic decisions. The increasing wealth of India’s richest throws into sharp relief the widening inequality in Indian society.” Added the Hindustan Times: “Rich get richer as economy sputters.” THE INTEREST GRAPH Our…

6 min.
plea to u.s. high court: know your limits

“With all thy getting, get understanding” IN AN OBSCENITY case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1964, Justice Potter Stewart famously and candidly declared that when it came to defining “hard-core pornography,” he wouldn’t make any more attempts “perhaps [because] I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it. . . . The Supreme Court should take Stewart’s words to heart when it hears Gill v. Whitford, a case about gerrymandering in Wisconsin. On the surface, the idea of creating legislative districts that give a particular party an advantage would strike most people as unfair. But the challenge is in determining what is fair. The ready answer is proportional representation— if a party’s legislative candidates together win 40% of the popular vote statewide, shouldn’t that party…

4 min.
beijing at the helm

As China’s key twice-adecade Party Congress concluded, President Xi Jinping emerged more powerful than ever. With his name and teachings now inscribed in party constitution and no clear successor in line, Xi is set to dominate decision making for years to come. But going into his second five-year term, one thing won’t be on Xi’s mind: making good on promises of marketbased reform, a landmark pledge he first delivered after assuming office in 2012. Although Xi referred to reforms when China’s new seven-member leadership was unveiled, analysts and economists said market liberalization is unlikely to pan out. What Xi now means by reform, they said, is improving a state-led development model, meaning adjusting state intervention for more effective outcomes. “Don’t anticipate big reforms,” said Willy Lam, adjunct professor at the Centre for…

2 min.
girding for battle

Spare a thought for Australian retailers. Already struggling with weak consumer sentiment, stagnant wage growth and higher energy bills—their own and their customers’—now they must deal with Amazon. The U.S. online retail behemoth announced in April that it was coming to Australia and bringing its full set of offerings: Amazon Prime Now, Amazon MarketPlace and eventually Amazon Pantry and AmazonFresh. In July, it settled on its first distribution center, in Melbourne, and its local website may go live by the end of this month. Amazon’s impending arrival has sent shivers through the Australian marketplace. From their peak share prices last year, major retailers Myer, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi are down 47%, 25% and 22%, respectively. The major shopping center landlords—Scentre Group and Vicinity Centres—are down 24% and 25%. That’s not…

3 min.
hope for the hoverboard

IF THERE’S A SINGLE product that embodies the average Westerner’s feelings about Chinese tech, it’s the hoverboard. When the hoverboard debuted in 2014 in China, the West was intrigued by its slightly dorky but unique take on the personal transportation device. Of course, countless imitations, most of them cheaply made, were pumped out by Chinese companies within months, flooding the global market. By 2015 there were news headlines of hoverboards catching fire and viral videos on social media showing teens spinning out of control on them. Today the consensus is that hoverboards are cheap, gimmicky and unsafe. This doesn’t sit well with Shenzhen’s Chic, the company behind the original hoverboard. (They have the patents to show for it.) “We didn’t even call it that when we patented the thing,” laments Carlos…