All in all, this week has been a good week for Chinese tech companies. WSJ first reported on Monday that Chinese regulators were ending investigations into three firms, the most notable being Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, and allowing the companies’ apps to return to the app store as early as this week.
And on Wednesday, the Chinese government approved 60 video game licenses, giving investors hope that the rally will continue and that the CCP’s regulatory campaign on the tech industry is coming to an end. Tech giants like Alibaba were at the forefront of the recovery, with shares increasing by 11%. But this list boosted market sentiment so much that it also increased the shares of Tencent even though that company wasn’t on the approval list.
Iran turns off 2 surveillance cameras at a nuclear site
Recently, Iran has been in talks to revamp the Iran Nuclear Deal, which would mean that the country is required to slow down or halt its nuclear enrichment program. In exchange, the international sanctions against its economy will be eased.
But on Wednesday, the country announced on state media that it had turned off two cameras put in place by a UN watchdog – the IAEA. These cameras and sensors are routine parts of ensuring that countries are actually doing what they say they’ll do when it comes to nuclear capabilities. For Iran, it says that 80% of IAEA’s surveillance cameras were still working and that its cooperation with the IAEA was voluntary.
Now experts worry that this move will escalate tensions, making it harder to secure a deal that many were hoping would also help ease the global undersupply of oil.
Eileen Gu’s US Winter Olympics ambassador bid
Triple Olympic medalist Eileen Gu is half Chinese, half American. She originally competed for the 2018-19 Freestyle Ski World Cup but has competed for China since June 2019 after requesting a change of nation with the International Ski Federation. Her goal was to compete for China in the Beijing Olympics, in which she took home three medals – two gold. The decision, though, annoyed some as it was during the height of the US-China tensions.
On Tuesday, Gu announced she would become an ambassador if the US hosts the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2030 or 2034 at the TIME100 Summit in New York. Hundreds of millions have responded to Gu’s bid, making it the second-most-read topic on Weibo on Wednesday morning. But some are seeing her announcement as a betrayal; others have said she “pretended” to be Chinese to make millions in endorsements, while others have supported her and her decision.
To end, we’ll look into:
Give your parents a call (to get help buying a house)
With millennials and zoomers facing soaring debt and sky-high mortgage rates, more wealthy parents are stepping in to help their adult kids with their houses.
See, the prices of homes are skyrocketing. Two years ago, the average sale price of a home in the US was around US$383,000, but now that price has gone up by more than 30%, reaching an average of US$507,800 in the first quarter of this year.
Basically, it’s just too expensive for most young people to buy a house, and rent’s too high – and this issue is definitely not exclusive to America.
So parents are stepping in to help out. According to real estate agents, some of them are co-signing the mortgage, others are giving money for a down payment and others are just buying the whole thing.
“It has a lot to do with rental prices being so high,” said Becki Danchik, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Warburg in New York. “They feel like it’s a waste to be throwing away money on rent when they can capitalize on the sales market right now.”
In the background, homeownership, in general, is lower among young people now. 40-year-old millennials have around a 60% homeownership rate. At the same age, though, Gen X had about 64%, and boomers had 68%.
In other news …
📉Stocks, oil and Bitcoin: US and European stocks slid on Wednesday after the Eurozone reported higher than expected GDP and after the White House said that it is expecting headline inflation on Friday to be still “elevated.” This added to the fear that the European central bank and Fed would be more hawkish in their monetary policy stance to curb inflation and lead to an economic slowdown.
🛢Inflation worries were fueled by crude oil reaching a 13-week high after demand in the US for oil keeps increasing, and China also roaring back after its lockdowns will add to the demand. Meanwhile, supply is looking more strained as Iran got rid of two surveillance cameras at its uranium facility, making it more likely that the sanctions will stay in place.
⬇️Bitcoin was down over 3.5% at US$30,287.70.
👩⚖️The FBI is being sued over Nassar handling: Over 90 women are said to be suing the FBI for failing to investigate former doctor for the USA Gymnastics, Larry Nassar, early enough. Nassar is now serving up to 175 years in prison for molesting gymnasts.
“My fellow survivors and I were betrayed by every institution that was supposed to protect us – the US Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, the FBI and now the Department of Justice.” – Kayla Maroney, an Olympic gold medallist
💰Spotify’s decade plan: Spotify has said that it expects to reach US$100 billion in annual revenue in the next decade during its first investor day since going public in 2018. The company’s expansion into podcasts and audiobooks has been pretty expensive, but it’s promising high-margin returns from the move.
☹️Overworked and unhappy: According to a study by co-working company The Instant Group, Hong Kongers are pretty unhappy, spending 41 hours at work every week – the third-highest in the APAC region, with seven days of annual leave. They also were found to be the third-most dissatisfied workforce in the APAC region. Here are some of the top comments from the survey on SCMP.
👩💻Credit Suisse cutting costs: You know how we mentioned that job slashing and cost-cutting reports at companies were making it to the headlines, potentially leveling out this employee market? After Credit Suisse reported a second-quarter loss, the company is reportedly looking into reducing its headcount across various departments and regions.
🏈Denver Broncos bid: The highest amount ever paid for a professional US sports team may have just taken place. The son of Walmart’s founder, Rob Walton, reportedly offered US$4.65 billion to buy the Denver Broncos, according to NFL sources. But this deal still needs to be approved by the league’s finance committee.
🇭🇰Hong Kong no. 1: According to ECA International, which did a study in March of this year, Hong Kong is the most expensive city for expats, with New York and Geneva in second and third place. This is the second year in a row that Hong Kong has come first, with the ECA Asia head saying that even though the city has been less affected by global inflation, “it nonetheless remains the most expensive location in the world.”
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