Business News

Cloning Tesla: electric-vehicle wars in China

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WILLIAM BIN LI is as close as China may have come to cloning Elon Musk. The founder of NIO, a swanky electric-vehicle (EV) company, is in his 40s, a tech nerd, and though not as meme-able as the founder of Tesla, is treated like a rock star by his adoring customers. NIO, worth $4bn, is […]

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Tencent buys a stake in Universal Music

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Jan 4th 2020 IT WAS A nice example of nominative determinism. On December 31st a consortium led by Tencent, a giant Chinese digital conglomerate, announced it was buying 10% of Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi, a French company, for €3bn ($3.4bn). The deal, first mooted in August, gives Tencent a stake in a […]

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LG, South Korea’s cuddliest chaebol, wants a sharper edge

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BEFORE LG EXECUTIVES mull a new product, corporate types in South Korea like to joke, they first ask themselves: “Has Samsung already done this?” Only if the answer is “yes” does the country’s fourth-biggest conglomerate, which makes everything from consumer electronics and cosmetics to chemicals and health-care goods, move ahead with the plan. The gibe […]

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Despite political woes, America Inc is still thriving in China

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Jan 4th 2020 NEW YORK AND SHANGHAI FOUR DECADES ago communist China officially opened its doors to America and its capitalist firms. Politics, once seemingly set aside for the purpose of commerce, has recently made a comeback. President Xi Jinping has stirred up nationalism as part of his effort to consolidate power—worryingly for American firms […]

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A manager’s manifesto for 2020

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THE START of the year is traditionally the time to make resolutions to change your behaviour. Hardly anyone keeps them, of course, but in the spirit of optimism, here are Bartleby’s eight suggestions for what managers ought to resolve to do in 2020. 1. Give out some praise. People don’t come to work just for […]

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2019 in review: coping with geopolitics and anti-capitalism

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The year in corporate boardrooms Dec 27th 2019 THE LOT OF the company is never easy. It must juggle the demands of shareholders, employees, customers, politicians and regulators. In 2019 the juggling act may have become a bit harder. Besides bracing itself for the inevitable next downturn—and, especially in America, declining profits—in the past year […]

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Non-Compete Clauses Are Suffocating American Workers

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IDEAS Jaret is assistant general counsel for the United Food and Commercial Workers. Vaheesan is legal director at the Open Markets Institute. Through non-compete clauses, employers have robbed tens of millions of workers of the right to practice their trade where they want. Non-competes can bar workers from accepting new employment in their field or […]

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An inspiring holiday message

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Dec 21st 2019 DEAR PARTNERS, colleagues and (dare I say it) close personal friends. As the new boss of Multinational United Subsidiary Holdings (MUSH), I am proud to look back on another year of success at our great company. Our performance is largely down to you and your efforts, and we hope that next year […]