10 minutes estimated reading time
Qantas chaos: outsourced baggage handler says one in 10 bags not making flights | Qantas | The Guardian – this lost luggage mess is emblematic of what is happening globally. Delta Airlines put on a dedicated flight to repatriate 1,000 pieces of lost luggage that had been left behind in in London Heathrow airport. Lost luggage and other overwhelmed ground services has seen both Heathrow and Schiphol airport in Amsterdam cut flight numbers. Lost luggage will tarnish airline reputations.
A poor experience on lost luggage will give discount airlines an opening, given that they will be supporting fuel related price increases anyway. These lost luggage problems will also help rail companies. I could see Eurostar running some ‘lost luggage’ response ads as a way of putting pressure on British Airways
Chinese nationalists celebrate Shinzo Abe shooting online, as some argue feeling happy is the normal reaction | South China Morning Post – you also had restaurants and other businesses rolling out special offers including 8.8 RMB discounts to celebrate Shinzo Abe’s death. It was interesting that this outpouring wasn’t censored and the stores not visited indicating Chinese government support for this ‘Chinazi‘ hatred
China hotpot chain Haidilao spins off overseas unit | Financial Times – basically a hedge against China’s ongoing anti-COVID measures
We weren’t meant to see this many beautiful faces – The Face – beauty overstimulation effect of Instagram culture
Chinese consumer boycotts of foreign companies, 2008–2021 – basically they’re primed to behave like assholes
China’s image loses its shine in Europe | Financial Times – In the UK, Germany and France, only 14 per cent, 33 per cent and 41 per cent of people questioned in 2006 had an unfavourable view of China. Now, they stand at 69 per cent, 74 per cent and 68 per cent respectively. – its human rights, then military power, then economics and finally Chinese political interference. Central and eastern European’s governments joined hands with Beijing in launching an initiative known as the 16+1 format. It was meant to herald a new dawn of mutually beneficial co-operation. China managed to alienate all with the exception of Hungary and Serbia. The Chinese ignored the region fears of Russia and strong attachment to the US as the ultimate guarantor of each country’s independence – likely because of China’s laser focus on the US as its enemy. Serbia makes sense, Russia backed them during the break-up of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia wasn’t ‘freed’ by the Soviet Union from Nazi occupation and Tito managed to maintain a distance from them. Hungary is the one that is more puzzling my perspective; the people were crushed in 1956 by Russian tanks when they tried to move away from communism
The UK economy is stagnant — and the reasons run deep | Financial Times – the 15 years between 2004 and 2019 — pre-Covid and pre-Brexit — were the weakest for growth in gross domestic product per head since the years between 1919 and 1934. Low growth in GDP per head caused low growth in household real disposable incomes: those for non-pensioners rose by 12 per cent between 2004-05 and 2019-20. This can be compared to an average rise of 40 per cent every 15 years since 1961. Also significant have been changes in income distribution. Between 1980 and 1995, median non-pensioner household real disposable incomes rose by 37 per cent, but by 67 per cent for the top decile and only 3 per cent for the bottom one. Between 1992 and 2007, incomes rose by 41 per cent, 47 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively: growth then was both fast and widely shared, which was surely far better. But then, between 2004 and 2019, as median incomes rose by a mere 12 per cent, the top decile’s rose 11 per cent and the bottom’s 2 per cent: that was stagnation all round
‘Hong Kong police’ threaten UK barristers of jailed tycoon Jimmy Lai | News | The Times – likely to be deniable middle men working on behalf of the government. You had similar middle men used to threaten, intimidate and assault the likes of journalists in the past. See also My testimony today about Hong Kong to the US Congressional-Executive Committee on China – the commentary of NSL related practices being used on non-NSL related charges is very interesting, showing a corrosion of the judiciary
Hong Kong’s legacy — from Chris Patten’s Diaries to City on the Edge | Financial Times – Patten argues convincingly that for Britain or any other country to abandon liberal principles and yield to the Chinese Communist party’s demands at every opportunity brings neither political nor commercial benefits. The trade and investment statistics he cites from the final decades of British rule do indeed suggest there is little correlation between grovelling and real rewards for business & … “China’s decision [in 2020] to impose the national security law as a pre-emptive strike against a perceived revolutionary situation in Hong Kong amounts to the premature end of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ [the formula for autonomy] 27 years before the 2047 deadline,” Hung writes. “The cost of this move for China could be grave,” he concludes, at a time when the US is already seeking to curb Beijing’s technological and strategic ambitions and China still benefits from Hong Kong’s role as an internationally connected financial centre.
Hong Kong IPOs: lithium giant’s disappointing listing spells trouble | Financial Times – if this isn’t a one-off then it asks big questions around Hong Kong’s ability to bring foreign capital into China. The lithium company is trading at a 60 precent discount to its price on the Shenzhen stock exchange
Thinking About the Unthinkable in Ukraine | Foreign Affairs – with back-and-forth tactical nuclear shots is that Russia would be at an advantage because it possesses more tactical nuclear weapons than the United States does. That asymmetry would require U.S. policymakers to resort sooner to so-called strategic forces (intercontinental missiles or bombers) to keep the upper hand. That, in turn, would risk unleashing the all-out mutual destruction of the major powers’ homelands. Thus, both the tit-for-tat and the disproportionate retaliatory options pose dauntingly high risks. A less dangerous option would be to respond to a nuclear attack by launching an air campaign with conventional munitions alone against Russian military targets and mobilizing ground forces for potential deployment into the battle in Ukraine. This would be coupled with two strong public declarations. First, to dampen views of this low-level option as weak, NATO policymakers would emphasize that modern precision technology makes tactical nuclear weapons unnecessary for effectively striking targets that used to be considered vulnerable only to undiscriminating weapons of mass destruction. That would frame Russia’s resort to nuclear strikes as further evidence not only of its barbarism but of its military backwardness. Direct entry into the war at the conventional level would not neutralize panic in the West. But it would mean that Russia would be faced with the prospect of combat against a NATO that was substantially superior in nonnuclear forces, backed by a nuclear retaliatory capability, and less likely to remain restrained if Russia turned its nuclear strikes against U.S. rather than Ukrainian forces.
Leaked Videos Show Disney Is the Biggest Ad Tech Giant You’ve Never Heard Of – extremely off-brand usage of Disney characters by its advertising sales team
Why the Elizabeth line marks a new era for OOH design – The Media Leader – better integration into the built environment
Hollywood won’t budge for Chinese censors anymore. Here’s what changed – CNN – talent in the Chinese industry had become stronger. Local stories told “in Mandarin and portrayed with Chinese sensibilities … naturally appeal to local audiences, particularly as you move from urban to rural markets,” he noted. “As Chinese producers venture further into the action and sci-fi genres in particular, where Hollywood dominated for many years, there will likely be increased competition from local fare.” – the pandering of Hollywood to the Chinese government has created a sector that will likely attempt to bury the US film industry
A new study points out the biggest threat to the potential of TikTok as it lacks massive earnings for creators compared to rivals / Digital Information World and Nearly Half of Gen Z Prefers TikTok and Instagram Over Google Search – according to Google’s internal studies, “something like almost 40% of young people when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.” Google confirmed this statistic to Insider, saying, “we face robust competition from an array of sources, including general and specialized search engines, as well as dedicated apps.” Google highlighted changes it plans to make to its search engine to appeal to a younger audience, including the ability for a user to pan their camera over an area and “instantly glean insights about multiple objects in a wider scene.” Insider has previously reported about the threat TikTok poses to YouTube, which is also owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Insider Intelligence predicts TikTok’s advertising revenue will overtake YouTube by 2024. – which makes the TikTok shopping TV service shutdown a bit more puzzling
US and UK intelligence chiefs call for vigilance on China’s industrial spies | Financial Times – In a joint appearance in London, the chiefs of the US and British intelligence agencies called on companies to be much more vigilant about China. FBI director Christopher Wray said Beijing was using “elaborate shell games” to disguise its spying and was even taking advantage of Spacs, or special purpose acquisition vehicles. “The Chinese government poses an even more serious threat to western businesses than even many sophisticated businesspeople realise,” Wray told business leaders at an event with his MI5 counterpart, Ken McCallum. “I want to encourage you to take the long view as you gauge the threat.” In a reference to the Ministry of State Security and the People’s Liberation Army, Wray added: “When you deal with a Chinese company, know you’re also dealing with the Chinese government — that is the MSS and the PLA — too, almost like silent partners – that this is news to business leaders shows how naive they all are. Based on my experience I believe that the reality is that the business community is already state captured, culpable and willing to endanger their home countries for marginal short term gain. More here: Joint address by MI5 and FBI Heads | MI5 – The Security Service and NEW: Top UK and USA spy chiefs warning on CCP
TikTok’s data dilemma – by Casey Newton – Platformer – are we really surprised that TikTok is handing over data to the Chinese security services?