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Friday, 29 March 2019

Weekend Reading: Some Interesting Stuff

Interesting fact - In China, under pressure from the government, video game publisher Tencent limited playing time for its most popular game, Honour of Kings, to two hours per day for players under 18 and one hour per day for players under 12.

In Beijing, it’s often cheaper to have food delivered than to get it yourself. Ordering from a local restaurant’s roast duck dish for 20 yuan ($2.99), is about 80 percent less than it costs at the restaurent, via delivery app Meituan.
Alibaba and its various subsidiaries dominate the country’s online retail market for physical goods, but Meituan is leading the way in services. Its app has 600,000 delivery people serving 400 million customers a year in 2,800 cities.
Alibaba is betting it can undercut Meituan to death. Both companies are spending billions in an escalating war of subsidies that is helping people get a "free-lunch"!!

A simple personal finance article that reiterates the ageless rules. Some of the rules are 1) Save atleast 10% of your income, 2) Control expenses, 3) Invest your savings (don't just stash it away in a bank savings account), 4) Understand your risks to your investments, 5) Build assets and equity with your money, 6) Insure yourself, 7) Increase your ability to earn.

A detailed account of the Chinese chemical industry.
The new environmental regulations are having only limited impact on the big upstream petrochemical and chemical intermediates and polymer plants, most of which are built with appropriate emissions controls and waste-treatment facilities. The severe impact is on the thousands of smaller plants that make all the specialty chemicals, from coatings and dyestuffs and pesticides to food ingredients and surfactants, used by Chinese manufacturing and agriculture and by Chinese consumers. These are typically privately owned operations often lacking appropriate waste-management capabilities and located in urban areas. The moves to shut down out-of-compliance plants have affected large numbers of these small operations, but the impact on overall chemical output has been less severe. In Shandong province, for example, the government closed 25 percent of all the chemical companies operating in the province during 2018, but this affected only 5 percent of output.
Looking ahead over the next three to five years, we expect China’s environmental authorities to continue to push enforcement energetically in the designated “radical change” regions, which account for nearly 50 percent of China’s chemical production, as well as push for improvements in the “moderately strengthened” enforcement regions.

Netflix is finally offering Indians the one thing they care most about: cheap subscription plans. On March 26, the video streaming platform launched the test run of a mobile-only plan for Rs250 ($4) a monthhalf the price of its basic plan.
Competition in India’s OTT sector, which is slated to surpass $5 billion by 2023, will become even stiffer. In addition to rivals Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, new behemoth entrants like Disney and Apple could also come fighting for a piece of the India streaming pie.
The dynamics could change drastically if, say, Disney pulls all its content off Netflix.

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