Dow recycling + more stuff

8 minutes estimated reading time

Dow recycling Singaporeans shoes

Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them in Indonesia | Reuters – Reuters put trackers in usable secondhand shoes to see where they would end up. The main gist of the story is that Dow recycling effort was a failure, which is also embarrassing for their partner the Singapore government.


The idea was the sneakers would be made into playground surfaces. Reuters seems to have stopped investigating the story of Dow recycling shoes, but I was left with more questions about Dow recycling than answers from the Reuters report:

  • Were some of the shoes more distressed than others?
  • Do Reuters know what happens to unwearable sneakers that enter the Dow recycling process?
  • Is it more ethical to sell on lightly used shoes as affordable footwear to Indonesians or recycle them regardless? Reuters doesn’t have an answer to this issue


China targets banker, dissident and church leader ahead of annual parliament — Radio Free Asia and Bao Fan, Banker in China Who Vanished, Is Said to Be Aiding Inquiry – The New York Times – In a filing on Sunday, that doesn’t sound like particularly good news, China Renaissance Bank said C.E.O., Bao Fan, was “cooperating in an investigation” by Chinese authorities

China tells big tech companies not to offer ChatGPT services – Nikkei Asia 

Predictably ARM is getting screwed over in China: Arm/SoftBank: delays on Chinese joint venture transfer will dent valuation | Financial Times 

Tencent boss Pony Ma left out of China’s signature political gathering | Financial Times – indicates CPC has muzzled and crippled Chinese technology giants so doesn’t need to bring them into the big tent and influence them

Three-day weekends and more time for love: China’s elite dream up policies for Xi | Financial Times 

Consumer behaviour

How single Chinese women spend their money | Daxue Consulting 


PMC Ryodan: The Strange Story of Anime Teens, their Sworn Enemies and the Kremlin – bellingcat 


Sanctions rarely work, but are they the least worst option? – Asia Times 

How are Russian airlines still flying if they can’t import spare parts? | Quartz 

UK struggles with transition to manufacturing electric cars | Financial Timesforeign carmakers’ core concern is that Britain’s reputation as a stable and pragmatic place in which to manufacture vehicles has been shattered, initially by the 2016 Brexit vote, and more recently by last year’s political turmoil at Westminster. “They are asking whether the UK is a stable partner,” said one person close to the Japanese companies. – Brixiteer economic expert Patrick Minford openly discussed the demise of the car manufacturing industry 


South Korea’s EV battery leader bets on US growth to dethrone China rival | Financial Times 


Can A.I. Treat Mental Illness? | The New Yorker 


Revolut’s auditor warns 2021 revenues ‘may be materially misstated’ | Financial Times – interesting that Revolut and N26 are thought of as tech firms rather than finance firms. I wouldn’t have called First Direct, MBNA or Egg back in the day as tech firms. Admittedly they used the new technology of the time, but they aren’t tech firms per se. Tech seems to be used as shorthand as sketchy a la N26 head of risk quits due to personal reasons in escalating leadership crisis | Financial Times 


Where Has All the Chartreuse Gone? – by Jason Wilson 

Reckitt Benckiser’s sales volumes slide as demand for disinfectant wanes | Financial Times – they have really badly handled brand building for decades as well. The COVID line is an excuse under-estimating a longer business decline

Altria exits vaping group Juul after stake plummets in value | Financial Times


France is becoming the new Britain | Financial Times 


Dubious Alliance: How Present Is the Far Right in Germany’s New Peace Movement? – DER SPIEGEL 

Hong Kong

It’s only a matter of time before western technology platforms get cancelled in Hong Kong as the great firewall extends outwards: Anthem-Gate, again | Big Lychee, Various Sectors and Slate – Beijing’s Crackdown on Hong Kong Dissidents 

Minority HSBC shareholder group seeks vote on dividends, Asia restructuring reporting | South China Morning Post – Ping An by other means

The Block: Hong Kong plans to lift ban on retail crypto trading – not sure that this is the smartest move


Does Technology Win Wars? | Foreign Affairs 

Anime and ‘The Last of Us’ are transforming Sony’s business | Financial Times – this makes me sad re the decline hard innovation in favour of financial engineering and media at Sony

Apple taps China’s Luxshare to develop augmented reality device – Nikkei Asia – outsourcing critical innovation?


Electric Dragon 80000v (エレクトリック·ドラゴン 80000V, Sogo Ishii, 2001) – Windows on Worlds 


South Korean weapons in high demand from Malaysia to Poland, as war in Ukraine rages on | South China Morning Post 


FT Fashion Matters on Paris autumn – winter womenswear shows 

Denica Riadini-Flesch – Financial Times – less but better items via Indonesian craft workers

Harrods chief shrugs off recession fears because ‘rich get richer’ | Financial Times 

Irish whiskey makers see chance to catch up with tweedy Scotch cousins | Financial Times 


Women and ethnic minorities overrepresented in advertising industry, finds reportWomen and ethnic minorities are now overrepresented in the UK advertising industry following a decades-long push to improve diversity, according to a new survey. A 2022 census found that an estimated 55pc of employees in the sector were women, compared to 45pc who were men. That was after the number of women increased from an estimated 11,600 to 14,400, an increase of 24pc, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) said. At the same time, the proportion of non-white employees increased by almost one third to 24pc, compared to 18pc a year earlier. Women made up 51pc of the population in England and Wales in 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics, while non-white ethnic groups comprised about 18pc. In London, where most of the UK’s advertising industry is concentrated, non-white ethnic groups represent roughly 46pc of the population. The IPA said there was more work to do on diversity, as women still only get just over one third of executive jobs in the ad industry, while non-white individuals only occupy 11pc of roles. – Daily Telegraph on how it feels that ‘woke’ addend risks becoming ‘out of touch’ with the British public, but doesn’t manage to make its argument very well.

The Drum | Digital Attribution Is Dead! Les Binet Tells Us Why Marketers Need Econometrics In 2023 – everything old is new again


China beats Tesla to Nigeria’s lithium riches – Rest of World 


The cases for and against The Trade Desk buying Criteo | DigiDay 

Lessons in the price of Vice | Financial Times 

Walt Disney vs Ron DeSantis: who really won the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ dust-up? | Financial TimesInstead of candidates with backgrounds in economic development or tourism, he packed the board with political allies. Two of them are leading lights in the culture wars that have helped DeSantis build a national profile ahead of a presumed run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Among them is Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of the conservative Moms for Liberty group and a champion of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” – Disneyland Florida is pretty screwed


Digital worlds diverge at World Mobile Congress – Asia Times 

Elon Musk Recruiting Team to Build His Own Anti-“Woke” AI to Rival ChatGPT 


‘Unmanned’ drones take too many humans to operate, says top Army aviator – Breaking Defense 

Weapon replacement costs changing nature of Ukraine war – Asia Times 


 5 questions for Adobe’s Dana Rao – POLITICO – Adobe CEO on machine learning, read with Chatbot valued at $1bn in Andreessen-led funding round | Financial Times – substitute fintech or metaverse in the subject matter and you can see a VC industry bereft of vision pursuing the latest soft innovation fad rather than investing for the long term in hard innovations

What drum machines can teach us about artificial intelligence | Aeon Essays 

Amazon’s big dreams for Alexa fall short | Financial Times 


Rihanna Announces the Return of Fenty x Puma | Vogue – after she was binned by LVMH. I wonder how much mileage is left in the brand?

Web of no web

MWC 2023: Chinese Electronics Companies Showcase IoT and Promote 5G – Pandaily 


Above Avalon: Apple Lends $250M to Globalstar, Why Doesn’t Apple Get Into Satellites?, EU Narrows Apple Probe (Daily Update) 

Or how smartphones could end up being declared as bad as corporate pollution – Honestly, it’s probably the phones – by Noah Smith 

Nokia is changing its logo to move away from its mobile manufacturer image – and has managed to create a design disaster zone that reads like Aocia and

HMD Global to make Nokia 5G smartphones in Europe, adds repairability | EE Times – deglobalisation?

Five things to know about MWC 2023: 5G, AI, China and more – Nikkei Asia and China Inc in Barcelona and Hong Kong’s crypto ambitions | Financial Times