Davis Polk Asia + more things

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Davis Polk Asia

Davis Polk Asia chair withdraws from Hong Kong security law forum | Financial Times – Guessing that Davis Polk Asia didn’t do a thorough opportunity cost analysis before agreeing to participate in the Hong Kong National Security Law Forum. An alternative hypothesis that I have heard about Davis Polk Asia could be due to being really screwed globally and will ANYTHING for some billings. Even if David Polk Asia really desperate, I can’t imagine that there will be that much upside in the greater China market and maybe some backlash in the law firm’s other international and US domestic offices. The backlash happened as soon as the FT published news of their forthcoming participation. I can also imagine that the subsequent Davis Polk Asia withdrawal will cause blowback with mainland clients and government contacts. The smart play for Davis Polk Asia would have been to decline the place in the first instance. It is even more surprising when David Polk Asia could have looked at Mayer Brown pulling away from representing Hong Kong University last year was a case study in likely outcomes. Given that one would want solid wise heads in the senior staff of a law office rather than status seeking sycophants, the Davis Polk Asia chairman Mr Rogers doesn’t look like a credit to his firm. Discretion might have been the better part of valour in this case.


‘We Love Winning, But Not At All Costs’: Asics On Offering Athletes Mental Health Aid | The Drum – I was chatting with a contact about the Asics positioning overall that this manifests and its an exceptionally clever reframe around a ‘sound mind in a sound body’ – its very Japanese and yet very now. Its a space that New Balance, Saucony, Newton etc left wide open for them

The Elizabeth line: Grimshaw’s line-wide Crossrail design – fantastic article on the design language of Crossrail. Its architecture its branding, its product and service design all together in one package


Shanghai lockdown exposes global supply chain strains | Financial Timesthe Port of Los Angeles, for example, is monitoring data from China on energy consumption, traffic patterns and pollution, to understand how busy the country’s factories are so it can prepare for the volumes of cargo to come. “I’m on the phone most evenings with friends . . . in Shanghai telling me what’s happening on the ground,” – interesting how they’re having to rely on abstract data

As Q1 results disappoint, should brands look beyond China? | Advertising | Campaign Asiabrands were able to offset these losses thanks to the strength in North America and Europe. Aeffe, the parent company of Mochino, nearly tripled its net income in the three month period, as Europe (which represents almost one-third of its total revenue) jumped 37.5% thanks to Germany and the UK. Tapestry shares even climbed on May 12 after it posted that sales in North America rose 22% year-on-year, fully offsetting mid-teens decline in China. These two regions will be crucial as China slowly recovers from its worst Covid wave since 2020. Although the mainland is on track to become the world’s largest luxury market by 2025, the US is still in top spot, accounting for 31% of the global market (China accounts for 21%). As such, it is important for brands to continue building traction in North America and Europe to cushion against near-term losses in Asia

China Brief: Expanding State Power Still Tops Xi Jinping’s AgendaThe published speech shows how much of Xi’s economic thinking is about control, tied to what he sees as a necessary expansion of government power. The speech frames China’s problems as coming down to the “reckless expansion of capital,” or private industry, which can only be curbed by expanding the CCP’s power. That idea relates to one of Xi’s favorite terms from last year: “common prosperity,” achieved via the redistribution of wealth. Publishing the 2021 speech now may be an attempt to revitalize that language. Other Chinese officials, such as Premier Li Keqiang, are focused primarily on addressing economic issues, but party power still tops Xi’s agenda. One part of the speech may seem incompatible with its profession of socialist values: how conservative it sounds about welfare. Xi explicitly states that “common prosperity” isn’t welfare. His words also suggest a fear of overpromising what the government can deliver, but they also echo an idea I’ve heard from rich and powerful people in China—that people living in democracies never vote to cut welfare benefits because the public is lazy and entitled

Consumer behaviour

“Macho pink” menswear takes over in China | Vogue Business“Macho pink” can be seen as a kind of “rebellion”, however, this rebellion currently remains limited to product categories considered mainstream for men, such as e-sports, sneakers and electronics. As male consumers in China put more emphasis on self-expression, this is validated to some extent by pink goods. – this reminds me of the bold neon colours of 1980s skiwear brands like Nevica. More on the social impact here: Millennial Pink Begone, Enter the Age of Hot Pink Fury | High Sobriety 

Study: games and video-watching correlate with kids getting smarter, social media a wash | Boing Boing

Taking the pulse of the US consumer | McKinsey and more here from GlobalWebIndex: How The Cost Of Living Crisis Is Affecting Consumer Spending | GWI 


Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Anime Comes to Netflix Geeked Week

Liberals Should Be Worried About the Conservative Comedy Scene – POLITICOConservative humorists aren’t merely catching up to their liberal counterparts in terms of reach and popularity. They’ve already caught them — and, in some cases, surpassed them, even as the liberal mainstream has continued to write conservative comedy off as a contradiction in terms. “[Liberals] are ceding ideological territory in the culture wars to the right via comedy,” Marx told me, noting that once-beloved liberal comedians like Stewart are struggling to find their footing in the treacherous landscape of post-Trump humor. “This thing that we thought we have owned for the last 20 years has been leaking, and the borders are slowly getting shifted.”


Bamboo scaffolding: Why does Hong Kong still use it in construction? | Goldthread 


Greedflation, gouging and price controls – by Noah Smith 

Advertising percentage of GDP – The Creative Industries 

Americans Don’t Miss Manufacturing — They Miss Unions | FiveThirtyEight 

Russia Is Losing Access to Imports – by Matthew C. Klein 

Biden’s China strategy cannot work with weapons alone | Financial Times 

Subprime Car Loan, Lease Defaults Hit All-Time High in February | Jalopnik – this has been a long time coming

Joe Biden waters down Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to win more support | Financial Times 


Fraunhofer sketches roadmap for solid-state battery c… eeNews Automotive 

Toyota further expands hydrogen ecosystem – eeNews Automotive – Europe needs to increase its commitment to a hydrogen economy


Company Reviews on Glassdoor: Petty Complaints or Signs of Potential Misconduct? – HBS Working KnowledgeWhether it’s Theranos and its fraudulent blood testing technology, Wells Fargo and its fake financial accounts, or Volkswagen and its bogus emissions data, a whistleblower eventually comes forward to expose the behavior, and executives are held accountable. “But what you start to realize is that the problems that have been uncovered have been going on for a very long time,” says Dennis Campbell, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Far from being just a few bad apples, most business improprieties occur within a widespread culture of bad behavior—or at least, a lot of people looking the other way as misconduct is taking place, he says.


The i-Frame and the s-Frame: How Focusing on Individual-Level Solutions Has Led Behavioral Public Policy Astray by Nick Chater, George Loewenstein :: SSRN  – worthwhile reading in concert with this – What nudge theory got wrong | Financial Times 

Putin plays his asshole card | I, Cringely – interesting post on the million plus Ukrainian hostage situation in Russia


Japan’s living standards are too low – by Noah Smith 


Depression on the Rise Among Young Men – The Chosun Ilbo 

Koreans Think AI Is the Future – The Chosun Ilbo – 1/ artificial intelligence 2/ robotics 3/ future mobility 4/ hydrogen fuel 5/ energy 6/ biotechnology 7/ aerospace 8/ new materials 9/ batteries 10/ semiconductors – skews to Korea’s current strengths in semiconductors, hydrogen fuel cells and robotics


LVMH-owned watchmaker Tag Heuer to accept crypto payments | Vogue Business – terrible timing given the bear market in crypto at the moment. Its also part of the odder financial aspects happening in the watch sector. From companies going vertical into the pre-owned marketplace to Breitling adopting a car lease type model for watches


Marketers to face challenges as the world of internet enters into a new Cookie-less phase; What measures has the advertising industry taken? / Digital Information World – looking at this data SMS is very undervalued as people are more likely to keep their mobile number while social and email are more transitory

Marketers, investing in market research is not superfluous – there is the big initial deep dive that happens when a new CMO arrives or a new product or market is contemplated. Second, there is the lesser but more common annual research that updates the organisation on the market, its segments and associated behaviour that feeds annual market planning. Finally, there is the more occasional inquiry into a specific micro issue that springs up. A pricing problem, a sudden reduction in market share or some other occasional issue that demands customer insight to guide management action

How chaotic accounting engulfed Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital empire | Business | The Sunday Times 


World’s first commercial 200mm VCSEL wafer ships – eeNews Europe 


Six Shifts Changing the Future of Media | Bain & Company 


Hong Kong Considers Blocking Telegram Messaging App, Local Paper Says – BloombergHong Kong authorities are deliberating whether to curtail public access to the messaging service Telegram, the Sing Tao Daily reported, potentially reviving fears the former British colony is moving closer toward Beijing-style internet controls. The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data is considering invoking regulations for the first time to restrict access to a platform it found to be rampant with doxxing, the local newspaper reported Tuesday. The widespread doxxing — or online exposure of sensitive and personal data — was aimed at government officials as well as citizens, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people.


Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society China’s presence in NHS supply chains

Iraq balks at greater Chinese control of its oilfields | Reuters 

Wireless eavesdroppers can hack 6G signal with DIY me… Smart2.0 

Chinese Hackers Tried to Steal Russian Defense Data, Report Says – The New York TimesThe emails landed on March 23 in the inboxes of scientists and engineers at several of Russia’s military research and development institutes, purportedly sent by Russia’s Ministry of Health. They carried a subject line that offered seemingly tantalizing information about a “list of persons under U.S. sanctions for invading Ukraine.” But the emails were actually sent by state-sponsored hackers in China seeking to entice their Russian targets to download and open a document with malware, according to a new report to be released Thursday by the Israeli-American cybersecurity firm Check Point… The Chinese campaign targeted Russian institutes that research airborne satellite communications, radar and electronic warfare


EU to upgrade trade ties with Taiwan as China warns Brussels ‘not to gamble on this issue’ | South China Morning Post 


EETimes – Lockheed Counts on Intel, Nvidia to Connect Defense Systems 

Web of no web

BujiBui makes 3D digital twins accessible anywhere | DigiTimes 

P&G is Designing for the Future: How the Metaverse is Changing Consumer Engagement 


South Korea to start testing 5G-V2X projects in 2Q23