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Asia turns on the taps for tech funding

June 24, 2014 2:52 am

Asia turns on the taps for tech funding

By Josh Noble in Hong Kong

When the bosses of US video messaging app Tango were on the lookout for a strategic partner, they turned in the direction of Hangzhou, China – home of ecommerce company Alibaba.

Within weeks, Tango’s founders met with Alibaba’s executive vice chairman Joe Tsai, before selling a quarter of the company for $215m.

Deals like this, where Asian capital goes into a young tech company from another part of the globe, are becoming increasingly common. The region is emerging as a key source of funding for the sector, putting Hong Kong and Singapore firmly on the map for tech startups seeking cash. Read more of this post

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Business needs to make the case for capitalism; ‘Profit’ is popularly understood as being taken from consumers

June 23, 2014 6:48 pm

Business needs to make the case for capitalism

By John McTernan

‘Profit’ is popularly understood as being taken from consumers, writes John McTernan

British businesses urgently need to become actively involved in politics. There are serious short and long-term political threats to them and their profitability. This should worry them but it should worry the country even more.

The short-term threats are easily described and understood.

If Scotland were to leave the UK it would badly damage a range of companies, particularly in the banking and financial services sector. But the social, economic and trade links between Scotland and the rest of the UK would mean the crisis caused by independence would spread quickly and widely. The silence of almost all businesses on the September referendum is a scandal. The few interventions made to date were driven by stringent financial reporting requirements rather than a desire to play a public role. But corporations are actors and they should not be afraid to speak. Read more of this post

If Finland is the best Europe can do we should be worried; The country’s plummeting productivity is down to bad luck and bad policies

June 23, 2014 7:11 pm

If Finland is the best Europe can do we should be worried

By Risto Penttila

The country’s plummeting productivity is down to bad luck and bad policies, writes Risto Penttila

Either the World Economic Forum is wrong or Europe is in deep trouble. The latest competitiveness rankings from the Swiss think-tank list Finland as the most competitive country in the EU. At first, the country’s business leaders thought someone was pulling their leg. But the news was real. If Finland is the best the EU can offer, we should all be very concerned. Read more of this post

Robots will not eat the jobs but will unleash our creativity; Tech revolution has put the means of production within everyone’s grasp, says Marc Andreessen

June 23, 2014 5:25 pm

Robots will not eat the jobs but will unleash our creativity

By Marc Andreessen

Tech revolution has put the means of production within everyone’s grasp, says Marc Andreessen

Agrowing number of people seem to fear that robots will eat all the jobs. Their worry boils down to this: computers can increasingly replace human labour thus displacing jobs and creating unemployment. Your job, and every job, will go to a machine.

It is textbook Luddism, relying on a “lump of labour” fallacy – the idea that there is a fixed amount of work to be done in the world by humans. The counterargument comes from economists such as Milton Friedman, who believe that human wants and needs are infinite, which means there is always more to do. Read more of this post

Beijing accuses banks and developers over property market

June 23, 2014 8:30 am

Beijing accuses banks and developers over property market

By FT Reporters

China has signalled it will resist calls for aggressive measures to prop up its flagging property market, even as house prices continue to drop.

People’s Daily, the Communist party’s main mouthpiece, said in a commentary on Monday that the property market was in a “normal adjustment period” and accused domestic developers, speculators and foreign banks of exaggerating the slowdown in order to put pressure on authorities to adopt heavy-handed stimulus policies. Read more of this post

China Ting Group (3398), a garment maker, said two borrowers defaulted on entrusted loans it made through Ningbo Bank Corp. and Bank of Communications

China Ting Says Borrowers Default on Entrusted Loans

By Bloomberg News – Jun 23, 2014

China Ting Group Holdings Ltd. (3398), a garment maker, said two borrowers defaulted on entrusted loans it made through Ningbo Bank Corp. and Bank of Communications Ltd. The stock fell.

Zhongdou Group Holdings Ltd. and Hangzhou Zhongdou Shopping Centre Co. failed to make interest payments on schedule on loans worth 160 million yuan ($26 million), China Ting said in a Hong Kong exchange filing yesterday.

Entrusted loans, advances between companies arranged through banks, are part of China’s shadow banking system that regulators are seeking to rein in. Some of the entrusted funds, which totaled 8.2 trillion yuan as of the end of 2013, were being directed to industries that face lending curbs from the government, according to the People’s Bank of China. Read more of this post

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive in China takes autocratic turn; President’s signature campaign appears to have spilled into something potentially destabilising

June 23, 2014 12:52 pm

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive in China takes autocratic turn

By Jamil Anderlini in BeijingAuthor alerts

President’s signature campaign appears to have spilled into something potentially destabilising

Ever since Mao Zedong launched the devastating 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that wiped out China’s intelligentsia and much of its traditional culture, scholars and China watchers have wondered what the lingering effects of that period would be.

A little over a year into his first term as president, China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, is providing the beginning of an answer. Read more of this post

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