Business

Business

Alibaba trounces Amazon in the world of high fashion
Amazon is the pre-eminent e-commerce company in the world, and its decades of supremacy in America have turned its founder Jeff Bezos into the world’s richest man.  But despite flirting with high fashion – the giant e-commerce company ran its first fashion advert in 2012 – Amazon clothing has been more “brandless fleece coat” than “embellished high-fashion catwalk.” Luxury fashion, almost uniquely among retail sectors, has been largely untouched by the online giant. Not for much longer – according to Amazon, anyway. In the US last month, the mega platform launched its latest bid for the luxury market with a glossy new designer section. Brands can create their own digital online boutiques wi
The Indian ‘cow dung lights’ aimed at China
Normally made out of mud and clay, one farmer in Gurugram is trying to support the government’s “Make in India” campaign by making “Diya” lamps out of eco-friendly cow dung. Aside from being an inexpensive material, the creator is keen to stress the lamp’s environmental benefits as they can be recycled as organic compost.
Gaming company institutes pay cuts, despite being profitable
A game development company in China has found itself in a PR crisis after it leveraged the coronavirus pandemic to impose voluntary pay cuts despite having a profitable year. At Duoyi Network, a gaming company based in the southern city of Guangzhou, more than 90% of the staff reportedly took the voluntary pay cuts. The company said the applicants were “mostly happy and satisfied” in a series of statements issued over the weekend.  Controversy ensued when the company also said it implemented pay cuts to “test the staff’s loyalty,” and the company’s chairman, Xu Bo, offered a 30,000 yuan ($4,500) “reward” for anyone to come forward and admit that they did not want to take a pay cut.    “No ma
The world's largest IPO has been suspended
China’s regulators have foiled the largest stock sale in global finance as they called a halt on the November 5 debut of Ant Group’s IPO on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges, less than 48 hours before the highly anticipated start of trading. Some 1.55 million small investors in Hong Kong had pumped $167.7 billion into the initial public offering in a bid to get a slice of the shares. They will get refunds, which include brokerage commission and stock exchange trading fee, within this week, according to Ant’s stock exchange filing. A meeting earlier this week between Ant Group’s senior executives and China’s top financial regulators led to “significant change” to Ant’s business environment
What is Jack Ma’s Ant Group, the fintech giant set for the world’s biggest IPO?
Digital financial services giant Ant Group is on the cusp of pulling off the world’s biggest initial public offering and could be worth over $500 billion in the near future, riding on the digitization of financial services in the world’s second-largest economy. Ant’s coming out parade illustrates China’s lead in digital finance. Its super-slick mobile payment app, Alipay, has over 1 billion users, who can click on the Alipay app for services ranging from food deliveries to garbage collection. It is the world’s most popular app outside social-media networks. Ant plans to plough the $34.5 billion it is raising from dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai into future revenue drivers, such as bl
China’s electric car market is accelerating. Can makers keep us charged?
The world is returning full circle to the electric car, as concerns about gaseous emissions and their impact on climate change compel global governments to find alternatives to gas-guzzlers. Iowa was the global hub for electric vehicles more than a century ago, with more than 30,000 horseless carriages produced in Des Moines at the industry’s peak in 1912. William Morrison, a Scottish immigrant and chemist, had invented a self-powered electric carriage – known as the auto-mobile – using lead-acid battery cells that could carry 12 passengers at a top speed of 20 miles per hour for 50 miles (80km) before recharging. In the century since, vehicles running on oil-guzzling internal combustion eng
Trump trade policies may have been bad for America
When the US-China trade war kicked off in 2018, Xu Yanlin, a senior sales manager for a Guangzhou company selling clothes and household items on Amazon, worried that her US market would collapse. But instead, her online store thrived, as the firm jacked up prices and passed Donald Trump’s trade war tariffs on to customers. “The tariffs were absorbed by American consumers themselves. We have generally increased the unit price this year. For example, a design for which we charged $16 before is now priced at about $19.99,” said Xu. Some 6,959 miles away in Phoenix, Arizona, Barry Vogel, CEO of industry group Audio & Loudspeaker Technologies International, said the tariffs were a “double whammy
Coronavirus: huge cuts by Hong Kong’s Cathay deepen global airline woes
Hong Kong’s carrier Cathay Pacific has joined US, European and other Asian airlines in making drastic job cuts as coronavirus-enforced travel restrictions continue to hammer the aviation industry. Cathay announced on Wednesday it is to shed 8,500 jobs, making 5,900 staff redundant, mostly in Hong Kong. As well as losing over a fifth of its headcount, it will shut one of its regional carriers, Cathay Dragon, with immediate effect as it battles to survive the pandemic. The airline had a $5 billion bailout in June, with the Hong Kong government contributing $3.52 billion to prevent its collapse. But the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents the global airline industry
Singapore is going to start a travel bubble with Hong Kong 
Officials from Singapore and Hong Kong have agreed to a travel bubble that will allow leisure travel for almost all their residents without the need for quarantine or a controlled itinerary. In a media briefing on Thursday, Singapore transport minister Ong Ye Kung said local health care experts had endorsed the plan, which would require travelers from both sides to have spent 14 days in either city before departure. They will also need to present negative Covid-19 test results. Ong’s announcement, held at the same time Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, Edward Yau Tang-wah, briefed the media, signaling that both sides have come to an agreement on most issues.  Neith
China’s top private businesses hurt by the trade war
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 36%: The share of private companies in China that said they were hurt by the US-China trade war. More than a third of top Chinese private companies reported feeling the burn from the US-China trade war, according to a survey released by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, a chamber of commerce in China. 152 of the 500 largest companies in China said the trade war had negatively affected their business while 246 said it had not. 102 companies did not answer that particular question. China has routinely downplayed the domestic effect of the trade war at