WORK

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A report of a possible radiological leak from China’s Taishan nuclear reactor, first reported by CNN, is raising questions about safety and transparency of information flow between China and its French partners in the nuclear plant located in Guangdong province.

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The fact that the China's central bank, which is often referred to as the “central mother” 央妈 in Chinese, is recommending removing restrictions on family size received more attention than the average working paper when it was released on April 14.

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After agreeing to pay a 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) settlement to LG Chem for the alleged theft of its intellectual property, SK Innovation is now putting the pedal to the metal in the EV battery business.

APPLE DAILY

No Oscars for Hong Kong this year, Beijing said, to close the month of March, also known as Hong Kong Arts Month, with a final cringeworthy moment.

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

Strong climate reporting can help business benefit from incorporating climate into capital allocation decisions.

FORBES

The promise of fast growth in electric vehicles and batteries has captured the attention of investors who have sent the stocks from those sectors soaring and rewarded some of the founders behind those companies with immense wealth.

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As we ring in the new year, Asian companies should consider better environmental disclosure, including exposure to risk from the changing climate, among their 2021 resolutions.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Working on the goal of carbon neutrality as a shared community project, one that sees the Hong Kong government truly engaging with voices from all parts of society, could be a powerful way of rebuilding trust in a divided city

FORBES

Renowned virologist Peter Piot calls the pandemic “the biggest crisis in peacetime we have known.”

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

By almost any measure, the response to COVID-19 in much of Asia, East Asia in particular, has been among the world’s most effective.

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E-commerce companies like Gojek, Grab, and Shopee have been pouring resources into the country’s large and growing market, finding new ways to deliver value for merchants and consumers while attracting investment from global tech players.

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The results of a survey among business leaders showed a latent optimism and the confidence to re-tool investment focus, although the outlook for job growth remains uncertain.

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By putting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) at the heart of the world’s largest pension fund’s investments, Hiromichi Mizuno not only rocked the world of traditional pension finance but also had a profound impact on the cause of socially responsible investing.

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

The world is growing older, and demographic decline will change the fabric of societies across Asia, presenting challenges but also opportunities to remake society for the better.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

"On a sultry August day I set out to walk a straight line across Beijing.” So begins Jonathan Chatwin’s Long Peace Street: A Walk in Modern China. The street, called Chang’an Jie in Chinese, “runs arrow-straight and ten lanes wide in some places,” bisecting the heart of Beijing.

ETHICAL CORPORATION MAGAZINE

Jill Baker reports on how influential figures like Hiromichi Mizuno of Global Pension Investment Fund and Hitachi’s Hiroaki Nakanishi have helped swing the country’s largest companies behind the TCFDs When it comes to reporting exposure to climate risk, Japan has emerged as a surprise leader, with more than 200 companies supporting the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures at last count.

ETHICAL CORPORATION MAGAZINE

As Beijing ramps up preparations to create the world’s largest carbon market, the burning question is whether it will eventually be part of a global market, reports Jill Baker The world waits anxiously for news of China’s carbon market rollout. Experts say such a move by a the world’s second largest economy would underscore the legitimacy of ETS for pricing carbon worldwide, be a win-win for China on the world stage and help clear the air in China’s smog-choked cities as well.

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

Using India as a case, this Asia Business Council briefing looks at how the use of digital technology by the government and private sector is helping to change society, largely for the better.

ETHICAL CORPORATION MAGAZINE

Jill Baker speaks to four female founders of early-stage tech companies who have beaten the odds of women receiving 2% of global venture capital and are addressing social need The tech industry has a gender problem, with the World Economic Forum finding that women comprise only 22% of workers in artificial intelligence. The AI skills gender gap may hinder women’s preparedness for the workforce in the future, since AI skills are in high demand.

CHINA DAILY

Rising sea levels will be among the major challenges of the 21st century, with Asia at particular risk because so many of its people- and companies are near water and prone to sea level rise, floods and storm surge.

ETHICAL CORPORATION MAGAZINE

Jill Baker reports on how air conditioning is one of the biggest energy efficiency challenges in a region that is home to the world’s hottest and most crowded cities Singapore developer City Development Limited’s Tree House Condominium won a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014 for the world’s largest vertical garden.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Hong Kong, with key assets just above sea level, faces very real threats from climate change. A new low-carbon charter shows it makes both business and political sense to collaborate with Beijing to improve energy efficiency in buildings and reduce emissions.

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

Public health and climate change are both great challenges for Asia. Together they create a nexus of concern that could become the next big crisis for the region.

FORBES

His latest book, The Sustainable State, builds on his previous work by delving further into the political economy and his vision for the role of the state.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

The city, with its enviable budget surpluses, has the resources to clean up its environment and lead the circular economy. A waste charging scheme has been announced, and ‘reverse vending machines’ are being considered.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Rising sea levels, pollution and extreme weather are global problems that must be jointly tackled by the best minds in both the US and China. The hi-tech clusters in Silicon Valley and the Greater Bay Area must lead the way.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Evidence of the scarcity of earth’s resources is all around us, in water shortages in Cape town, a choking tropical haze in Indonesia, or increasingly overcrowded and unaffordable Asian cities where people live in “coffin cubicles” and “cage homes”. Action is required.

FORBES

AC Energy is expanding beyond the Philippines, and has identified Indonesia and Vietnam as key target markets, and expansion plans will complement existing renewables projects in the Philippines.

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

Driven by a proliferation of emerging, connected, and converging technologies, the economic future for China and the U.S will be one of immense change.

FORBES

This move is likely to effectively slash demand in the world’s largest solar market by about 40%. Worldwide demand is anticipated to shrink by double-digits , as the U.S., India and Japan, which made up roughly 30% of the market in 2017, are not expected to staunch the bleeding.

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Vietnam's economic growth is fueled by coal, the most polluting fuel source on the planet. However, 42-year-old clean energy champion Nguy Thi Khanh hopes to end Vietnam's reliance on coal and persuade the country to take a greener approach.

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Despite President Trump's statements to the contrary, cheap Chinese solar has been great for American jobs. Trump should be thanking China, not waging a trade war against it.

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Corporate investment in resilience is in part an insurance policy against the worst effects of climate change. And it may be the best recipe for long-term corporate survival.

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

Typhoons, terrorism, the threat of war, tsunamis, earthquakes, and epidemic disease. These are but a few of the challenges Asian companies have confronted since the century began.

FORBES

Perhaps the pushback against curbing emissions by the Trump administration shouldn't be a surprise -- until you look at it from a jobs perspective.

ASIA BUSINESS COUNCIL

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has begun to transform businesses, jobs, and economies. Machines are increasingly able to perform tasks that only humans could do previously—often more quickly and accurately, too.

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Last year was the hottest ever recorded, according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is dangerous news for the entire world, but especially for South Asia, where rising temperatures are a matter of life or death.

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How have we come to the current state of affairs in which India and China along with Europe see climate action as a positive-sum-game while U.S. President Donald Trump seemingly does not?

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More creative policies are needed if Vietnam is to break the link between economic growth and electricity use.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Set in New York, Ha Jin’s new novel, The Boat Rocker, takes place “a week before the fourth anniversary of 9/11”.

FORBES

China will stick with its pledge to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 or sooner.

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First Solar CEO Mark R. Widmar officially slashed sales guidance for 2016 to $2.8-$2.9 billion from $3.8-$4 billion.

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One of China’s top climate scientists says that China is on track to see carbon dioxide emissions peak between 2020 and 2022, almost a decade earlier than the Chinese leadership has promised, and to make its economy far more energy-efficient than expected. Beijing’s Energy Research Institute’s Senior Researcher Jiang Kejun also [...]

FORBES

First Solar needs to address uncertainty around margins and detail plans for capacity expansion.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Patricia Park’s charming debut novel, Re Jane, is a coming of age story.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Jia Jiang grew up in Beijing until the age of fourteen when he moved to the United States as an exchange student. Mistakes were made, and Jiang was placed in the home of petty swindlers in Louisiana (where he slept in the room of their son, a convicted murderer). The couple stole his money.

CHINA DAILY

China is the world’s largest energy consumer, and its energy use is dirty and inefficient. But it is working hard to change that.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Preparation for the Next Life is a stunning, hard-edged, deeply felt debut. Lish takes us to places most of us will never see: the mean streets of Queens, inside the American prison system and even into the mind of a psychopath.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

A Map of Betrayal, is a spy novel, but no ordinary one. Like most of Ha Jin’s work, it is a story that can seem simple but resonates deeply beyond merely entertainment value.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Mira Jacob’s absorbing, darkly funny debut novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing is the story of the Eapen family, successful immigrants from Tamil Nadu, India, whose bonds to each other are strengthened by adversity.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Dr. Norton Perina, the main character of Hanya Yanagihara’s impressive debut novel, The People in the Trees, is a man some might call a monster.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

With 92 billion Swiss Francs in sales in 2013, Nestlé is one of the largest consumer products companies in the world, and—the authors would argue—one of its better corporate citizens.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

At the core of Kinder Than Solitude, Yiyun Li’s starkly beautiful novel, is a mysterious poisoning that bears a striking resemblance to the 1995 case of Zhu Ling, a Tsinghua University student who was dosed with high levels of the heavy metal thallium.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

For most readers, Central Asia may be something of an enigma. Geographically situated with the Caspian Sea to the west, China to the east, Russia to the north and Afghanistan to the south, the region has historical associations with the silk road—the famous trade route connecting Europe and Asia—and was for centuries a crossroads for the movement of goods and people.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

The Mango Bride is the first novel by Filipina-American author Marivi Soliven. Set in Manila and San Francisco, it is the story of how the secrets kept by an older generation of Manila aristocrats and their servants come to light. Soliven’s plot unfolds through flashbacks and foreshadowing, adding an element of surprise and enjoyable suspense to this already juicy tale of inter-generational drama.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Buddhaland Brooklyn is the story of the enlightenment of Reverend Seido Oda, a repressed Japanese Buddhist from the fictional Headwater Sect of Mayahana Buddhism. Sent to Brooklyn to oversee the construction of a new temple, his journey from Japan to the U.S. is a cultural challenge and a spiritual awakening in which he learns to practice what he preaches.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

The Cooked Seed, the second memoir by best-selling Chinese-American author Anchee Min, comes almost 20 years after the publication of Red Azalea, Min’s powerful first memoir, and follows six historical novels that feature historically significant Chinese women.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Urbanization is “the defining journey of the 21st century” according to Daniel Brook, author of A History of Future Cities. This linked history of St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai and Dubai provides eloquent examples of how complex and tumultuous the evolution of the modern city has been over the past three centuries, the study of which, the author hopes, may help to mitigate problems in the future.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Tash Aw’s new novel, Five Star Billionaire, follows five Malaysian immigrants in Shanghai as they struggle to succeed in the Chinese boom. In her review, Jill Baker noted that despite the large cast of characters, “Shanghai itself is the book’s real main character, a glimmering fata morgana, luring in people hoping for a second chance or... any chance at all.”

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

Identity and resilience are leitmotifs in Five Star Billionaire, Tash Aw’s new page-turner of a novel set in Shanghai. Fittingly, the novel opens with an ID card being lost and found: lost by a Chinese national, and found by Phoebe Chen Aiping, a frightened but plucky young Malaysian immigrant, determined to make something of herself, lured to the city by the promise of a job that doesn’t materialize.

ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS

According to an article by the New York Time’s Keith Bradsher last February, “young college graduates in China are four times as likely to be unemployed as young people who attended elementary school” because office jobs are scarcer than jobs in a factory. The odds are stacked against women even more for, according to Wen Hua, sex discrimination is still the norm in the Chinese workplace. If you were a young Chinese woman faced with those daunting prospects, would you be willing to undergo cosmetic surgery if it increased your chances of being hired?