Business

Émigrés Are Creating an Alternative China, One Bookstore at a Time
Business

Émigrés Are Creating an Alternative China, One Bookstore at a Time

On a rainy Saturday afternoon in central Tokyo, 50 or so Chinese people packed into a gray, nondescript office that doubles as a bookstore. They came for a seminar about Qiu Jin, a Chinese feminist poet and revolutionary who was beheaded more than a century ago for conspiring to overthrow the Qing dynasty.Like them, Ms. Qiu had lived as an immigrant in Japan. The lecture’s title, “Rebuilding China in Tokyo,” said as much about the aspirations of the people in the room as it did about Ms. Qiu’s life.Public discussions like this one used to be common in big cities in China but have increasingly been stifled over the past decade. The Chinese public is discouraged from organizing and participating in civic activities.In the past year, a new type of Chinese public life has emerged — outside Chi...
What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.
Business

What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.

“No society can be fully understood apart from the residences of its members.”I have that quote (from “Crabgrass Frontier,” the seminal history of America’s suburbs) taped to a wall behind my desk. It summarizes why I love covering housing for The New York Times and seem never to run out of things to write about. Housing is everything. It’s where we live and raise our families. It is most people’s largest store of wealth. Whether you own, you rent, or you sleep outside, where you hang your head defines much of your existence.Over the past few decades, and especially since the pandemic, housing has gone from a symbol of American strength to an everyday crisis. Aspiring homeowners are becoming forever renters. People live in increasingly crowded households, the supply of illegal housing has ...
Reddit Files to Go Public, in First Social Media I.P.O. in Years
Business

Reddit Files to Go Public, in First Social Media I.P.O. in Years

Reddit, the community-focused message board site, filed to go public on Thursday, paving the way for it to be the first major social media company to debut on the stock market in years and a test for private companies after a drought in initial public offerings.In an offering prospectus, Reddit disclosed its financial performance in preparation for selling shares to investors. The San Francisco-based company reported that its revenue rose more than 20 percent as its losses narrowed last year. It added that it had 73 million daily users and more than 100,000 active communities.The prospectus kicks off a process to the stock market, with the 18-year-old company set to meet potential investors to whet their appetites for buying its shares. Reddit could go public on the New York Stock Exchange...
Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?
Business

Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?

Picture this: You own a few hundred acres near a growing town that your family has been farming for generations. Turning a profit has gotten harder, and none of your children want to take it over. You don’t want to sell the land; you love the open space, the flora and fauna it hosts. But offers from developers who would turn it into subdivisions or strip malls seem increasingly tempting.One day, a land broker mentions an idea. How about granting a long-term lease to a company that values your property for the same reasons you do: long walks through tall grass, the calls of migrating birds, the way it keeps the air and water clean.It sounds like a scam. Or charity. In fact, it’s an approach backed by hardheaded investors who think nature has an intrinsic value that can provide them with a r...
U.S. Awards $1.5 Billion to Chipmaker GlobalFoundries
Business

U.S. Awards $1.5 Billion to Chipmaker GlobalFoundries

The Biden administration on Monday announced a $1.5 billion award to the New York-based chipmaker GlobalFoundries, one of the first sizable grants from a government program aimed at revitalizing semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.As part of the plan to bolster GlobalFoundries, the administration will also make available another $1.6 billion in federal loans. The grants are expected to triple the company’s production capacity in the state of New York over ten years.The funding represents an effort by the Biden administration and lawmakers of both parties to try to revitalize American semiconductor manufacturing. Currently, just 12 percent of chips are made in the United States, with the bulk manufactured in Asia. America’s reliance on foreign sources of chips became an issue i...
The Great Compression – The New York Times
Business

The Great Compression – The New York Times

Robert Lanter lives in a 600-square-foot house that can be traversed in five seconds and vacuumed from a single outlet. He doesn’t have a coffee table in the living room because it would obstruct the front door. When relatives come to visit, Mr. Lanter says jokingly, but only partly, they have to tour one at time.Each of these details amounts to something bigger, for Mr. Lanter’s life and the U.S. housing market: a house under $300,000, something increasingly hard to find. That price allowed Mr. Lanter, a 63-year-old retired nurse, to buy a new single-family home in a subdivision in Redmond, Ore., about 30 minutes outside Bend, where he is from and which is, along with its surrounding area, one of Oregon’s most expensive housing markets.Mr. Lanter’s house could easily fit on a flatbed truc...
South Korea’s Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.
Business

South Korea’s Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.

The South Korean government unleashed a wave of panic across the internet industry: The country’s antitrust regulator said it would enact the toughest competition law outside Europe, curbing the influence of major technology companies.The Korea Fair Trade Commission, with the backing of President Yoon Suk Yeol, said in December that it planned to make a proposal modeled after the 2022 Digital Markets Act, the European Union’s landmark law to rein in American tech giants. This bill also seemed to target South Korea’s own internet conglomerates just as much as the Alphabets, Apples and Metas of the world.The commission said the law would designate certain companies as dominant platforms and limit their ability to use strongholds in one online business to expand into new areas.Then last week,...
Can America Turn a Productivity Boomlet Into a Boom?
Business

Can America Turn a Productivity Boomlet Into a Boom?

Kevin Rezvani came of age in kitchens: spending summers at his grandfather’s bakery in Japan, doing work-study in his college cafeteria and working for years as a line cook at mid-tier restaurants, along with some stints in fast food.By his late 20s, the biggest takeaway Mr. Rezvani had from his experience “working in every kind of thing in food” was the industry’s widespread inability to reconcile the art of a kitchen, and the science of a restaurant, with the math of a business.Too many ventures, he says, are not profitable enough to justify all the work hours needed from managers and employees to stay afloat, much less grow. In other words, they fall short on productivity.“There’s a very fine line between doing OK, and doing well in this business,” said Mr. Rezvani, now 36. “And if you’...
FirstEnergy Ex-C.E.O. and 2 Others Are Indicted in Bribery Scandal
Business

FirstEnergy Ex-C.E.O. and 2 Others Are Indicted in Bribery Scandal

Two former executives of FirstEnergy and a former public utility commissioner have been indicted in a multimillion-dollar public corruption scandal, Ohio’s attorney general, Dave Yost, said on Monday.Charles Jones, who was FirstEnergy’s chief executive from 2015-20, and Michael Dowling, a former vice president of external affairs at the company, are accused of paying Samuel Randazzo, a former chairman of Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission, more than $4.3 million to allow the company to overcharge customers, among other offenses.Collectively, the three men are charged with 27 counts, including theft, bribery and fraud. The charges were filed on Friday but weren’t made public until Mr. Yost announced them on Monday.The indictments are the first against FirstEnergy executives in perhaps the b...
Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone
Business

Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone

The history of Las Vegas has been marked by a relentless churn of hotels, casinos, theaters and restaurants. But only recently has the city’s landscape included major professional sports teams.The Golden Knights of the National Hockey League were the first to start play here in 2017. The Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association started in 2018, and the National Football League’s Raiders arrived from Oakland in 2020. Last year, Major League Baseball’s Athletics were given the go-ahead to make the same Oakland-to-Las Vegas move, and the National Basketball Association is expected to add a team in the coming years.Las Vegas’s transformation into a pro sports town reflects not just the leagues’ interest in the city and their general embrace of sports betting, but also the power of t...