The Week That Was: Global business news update, issue 10

By Nick Lambe – Managing Director, Links International

So, l managed to have a one-hour meeting last week without a single mention of Donald Trump and what the president-elect is up to currently! Happy days! One thing is sure, this is going to be one interesting presidency with Trump already settling a US$25m law suit, reaching out to Mitt Romney for a potential cabinet position and sacking the man who put his son-in-law’s father on trial… You can’t think this stuff up!!

Anyway, on to more pressing and interesting news and it was all about technology last week with both LinkedIn and Facebook in the news for different violations. LinkedIn apparently has violated local data storage laws in Russia, leading to the site being blocked there (is Russia flexing a bit of political muscle towards a US firm??). On the other hand, Facebook has again acknowledged errors in the figures it shares with advertisers and publishers. In Facebook’s case this comes only two months after it reveals overestimation of average time users had watched videos. How will these issues manifest themselves longer term?


Good old Boris Johnson has been in the news again for apparently insulting the Italian Economics Minister around their Prosecco exports to Britain. The amusing tit-for-tat exchange apparently likened the UK’s export of fish ’n’ chips to Italy’s prosecco industry and further highlighted the challenge and complexity of the Brexit negotiations, albeit on a rather schoolboy level.

Retail woes…

With M&S exiting China as well as a large number of stores in the UK, the retail market continues to be in a challenged state in Hong Kong with the closure of the flagship Abercrombie and Fitch store in the iconic Pedder Building in Central Hong Kong. A&F cited slow sales growth and lack of sales primarily from Mainland Chinese tourists, as their buying power is diminished by the weakening Yuan and they are travelling less to Hong Kong. I perhaps feel that the HK$7m a month rental price tag might have been a major factor too… surely retail rentals must take a significant hit if the market sentiment continues as such?

Disclaimer: This column is designed to be a lighthearted weekly update on the global business news that I enjoyed reading.  We would welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

More next week…

Read previous editions of The Week That Was:
issue 1
issue 2
issue 3
issue 4
issue 5
issue 6
issue 7
issue 8
issue 9