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Go to work on an egg

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Helping refugees into employment Nov 17th 2019 MOHAMMED RAHIMEH left Damascus in December 2015, rather than be conscripted into the Syrian army. His journey to London took him through Lebanon and Greece and included 11 months in the notorious “Jungle” camp in Calais. Despite leaving Syria with no cooking qualifications or English skills, he is […]

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One for the money

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IN 1993 A group of male students at Nanjing University in China decided to celebrate their singledom. The annual date would be November 11th, comprised of four lonely 1s. The story may be apocryphal. But since 2009 Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant, has turned Singles’ Day into a very real shopping frenzy. It has long since […]

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Ocado wages a grocery war against Amazon, Walmart and Alibaba

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PANIC IS SWEEPING through supermarket aisles. Profits are meagre, convenience is king, discounters are rife. Even Amazon, Walmart and Alibaba, the world’s three biggest retailers, are trembling. No one has fully mastered the art of selling groceries online. The business represents just 2.3%, or $160bn, of a worldwide grocery market of $7trn. As that share […]

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A huge lift business is up for sale

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MODERN CITIES owe their shape to two 19th-century revolutions in personal transportation. For urban sprawl, blame the car. The skyscrapers that shape many of the world’s most recognisable cityscapes would not exist without fast and safe lifts. Whereas the four biggest carmakers sell two-fifths of road vehicles, liftmakers have the market sewn up far more […]

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Alibaba sold $38.4bn of merchandise this Singles’ Day

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Are the black zero’s days numbered?Why Germany sticks to strict budget rules despite a slowdown Towards the brinkConfrontation in Hong Kong is turning ever uglier LexingtonThe strange love-in between Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan This post was originally posted at https://www.economist.com/business/2019/11/16/alibaba-sold-384bn-of-merchandise-this-singles-day.

Business News

Octogenarians are shaking up Italian business

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CARLO DE BENEDETTI is fond of high drama. When he resigned after only three months as chief executive of Fiat in 1976, rumours swirled that he was cobbling together a bid for the then-ailing carmaker with the help of Swiss financiers. Mr De Benedetti denied ever having such designs. But he seemed to relish all […]

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Proxy advisers come under fire

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PROXY ADVISORY services used to be an obscure feature of corporate America. No longer. These geeky outfits, which review mountains of proposals put forward by shareholders on topics ranging from mergers and executive pay to climate change and diversity, then issue recommendations, can sway how their clients vote. Given that most are big institutional investors […]

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Don’t show, tell

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IT WAS ONE of the viral videos of 2017. Robert Kelly, an American academic, was discussing South Korean politics live on BBC World News when his two small children, eager for daddy’s attention, toddled into the room to interrupt him. It was a natural, joyful moment. What did not look natural was Mr Kelly’s pose […]

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Take the money and run

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A LATIN PHRASE beloved by every old-fashioned British schoolmaster was mens sana in corpore sano—a healthy mind in a healthy body. With that, the pedagogue would dispatch some shivering schoolchild in vest and shorts on a three-mile cross-country run. It turns out that those tutors were on to something. Greater physical activity is associated with […]

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TikTok’s silly clips raise some serious questions

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IF THIS ARTICLE were a TikTok video, it would already be almost over—and you would be smiling. TikTok’s 15-second clips are all the rage among teenage netizens. The app was downloaded more than 750m times in the past 12 months, more than Facebook plus its sister services, Instagram and WhatsApp, combined. Fun aside, TikTok raises […]