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Business & Finance
Forbes Asia

Forbes Asia September 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.
frightful footnote

When asked over the years to summarize prospects for the Asian region, I usually concluded with words to this effect: “All this assumes no calamity stemming from North Korea.” The DPRK, as it calls itself, has been the outlier in discussions of Asia-Pacific. Even as other formerly isolated regimes such as Burma/Myanmar rejoined the formal economy, Pyongyang’s rulers remained apart. Of course, they maintained their underground and often illicit trade to keep their own plates full, and in recent years have countenanced growing commerce with bordering areas of China, but basically North Korean GDP has been a null set. This in a country that, through the early 1960s, at least had a Stalinist presence in world output. All the while, the military buildup and bluster there continued. Now, it is nuclear and…

1 min.
readers say

CONVERSATION OUR STORY about a son of Indian immigrants who made it big in Texas real estate (“Austin Powered,” August, p. 70) inspired Priya Chaturvedi to post: “I came over from India 25 years ago so my kids can have this kind of opportunity. This guy gives me hope!” Divya Kumar added, “If this wasn’t in Forbes I’d never believe it. Only in America.” Ashley Carvajal took the long view: “Nate Paul is an icon and a role model for the American Dream. the next generation of leaders in this country will look a lot different from the current generation.” Robert Weintraub confessed to youth envy: “Makes me wish I was 20 again. And investing aft er the great recession. But no one gets rich in hindsight; credit to Nate Paul…

7 min.
why gop-care lost the public

“With all thy getting, get understanding” WHY ARE CONGRESSIONAL Republicans flailing about on repealing and replacing Obamacare? Why has public opinion gone against them on an issue that was critical to the GOP’s winning control of both the Senate and the House, not to mention the presidency? The law, passed more than seven years ago, had been immensely unpopular from the get-go. Answer: The GOP, in an incredible blunder, let its opponents define the terms of debate. Suddenly, the issue became how many millions of people would be stripped of medical insurance. The public became convinced that the only real question for Republicans was how much misery they were going to inflict. The sick and the chronically ill would quickly find themselves without coverage and be forced to camp out in overcrowded…

5 min.
taiwan flies south

On a visit to Taiwan, Christopher Cua noticed people lining up for bubble tea. Cua lives in Metro Manila, where people like sweet caffeinated drinks, and no one there was selling the Taiwanese style of milk tea with marble-size tapioca balls. So in 2011, he opened the Philippine capital’s first Chatime franchise. Now Chatime has at least 40 outlets in Metro Manila. “The milk tea thing was a no-brainer,” says Cua, who’s ethnically Taiwanese and part of a family business that also includes a bakery. “I go to Taiwan a lot, and I always thought, ‘Filipinos would love this.’ ” That sentiment dovetailed with the aims of La Kaffa, the Taiwan owner of the Chatime brand. With $65 million in 2016 revenues, La Kaffa has opened close to 400 stores in nine…

4 min.
pants-pocket laptop

BEN SIN // GADGETMAN WITH TECH ADVANCES making gadgets increasingly capable (and more affordable), there’s never been a better time to be a so-called “digital nomad.” I cringe at the term, but I can’t deny that it quite succinctly sums up people like me, who need only a solid internet connection and a digital device to do work. In the past year I’ve written articles under every circumstance imaginable: on a proper desktop computer at home, on a Chinese budget 2-in-1 tablet at the airport, on an iPad while standing in line to enter an event at MWC, on a smartphone while sitting at the beach in Phuket on Christmas Day, and on this, a comically tiny laptop, over brunch. This petite device is the GPD Pocket, a clamshell-style Windows 10 laptop…

4 min.
interesting times

JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN // ASIAN SPOTLIGHT THERE IS AN ARAB PROVERB, inspired by the Koran, that says, “He who predicts the future lies, even if he tells the truth.” In other words: If you make a prediction and it turns out right, it’s sheer luck, mate! With that caveat, let me offer not a prediction but a hypothesis. On the basis of current trends, it would seem the world is experiencing one of its most profound transformations in history. In essence, for the last half-millennium, since the rise of the Portuguese seaborne empire in the late 15th century, the world has been dominated by the West. Japan was the only non-Western nation to emerge as a global power, but it did so not by challenging the West but by joining it. It never…