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Western companies are getting creative with their Chinese names

MCDONALD’S drew ridicule in China when it changed its registered name there to Jingongmen, or “Golden Arches”, in October, after it was sold to a Chinese consortium.

The beast of Bentonville battles Amazon, the king of the e-commerce jungle

A BOA constrictor swallowing capitalism. A cyclone dragging the economy into its vortex. If you look back at how people described Walmart a decade ago, it is eerily similar to how Amazon is viewed now.

Video games could fall foul of anti-gambling laws

Four-sided bandit A DECADE ago the idea of paying real money for virtual items was strange and exotic.

Rio Tinto puts its faith in driverless trucks, trains and drilling rigs

Data-mine ore FOR millennia, man has broken rocks. Whether with pickaxe or dynamite, their own or animal muscle, in a digger or a diesel truck, thick-necked miners have been at the centre of an industry that supplies the raw materials for almost all industrial activity.

Google leads in the race to dominate artificial intelligence

COMMANDING the plot lines of Hollywood films, covers of magazines and reams of newsprint, the contest between artificial intelligence (AI) and mankind draws much attention.

The prospect of Amazon’s entry is a spur to a massive deal in health care

“WE’RE bringing health care to where people live and work.” So declared Larry Merlo, chief executive officer of CVS Health, an American retail-pharmacy giant, on December 3rd, announcing a $69bn deal to buy Aetna, a health insurer.

Digital news outlets are in for a reckoning

GREAT expectations attended digital journalism outfits. Firms such as BuzzFeed and Mashable were the hip kids destined to conquer the internet with their younger, advertiser-friendly audience, smart manipulation of social media and affinity for technology.

Tech giants will likely dominate speakers and headphones

MUSIC lovers do not typically go to the opera to buy a speaker. But at the Palais Garnier in Paris they now can: Devialet, a local maker of high-end speakers, on November 29th opened a store in the 19th-century music venue to sell its most sophisticated product, called Phantom.

Plant-based “meat” is so tasty that Europe’s meat industry has to bite back

Carroticide THE “kapsalon” is a healthy mix of chips, melted Gouda cheese, shawarma, lettuce and garlic sauce and is a tried and tested hangover cure in the Netherlands.

China’s largest online publisher enchants investors and readers alike

WeChat, we read WHENEVER Xu Jie goes to the cinema to watch mystery and detective films, she leaves disappointed: to help stamp out superstition, China’s censors excise ghosts and zombies from the screens.

In the Trump era, big business is becoming more political

AT THE start of Donald Trump’s presidency bosses rushed onto his business councils, hoping to influence policies in their favour.

Two more illustrious Japanese firms admit to falsifying quality data

AKIO MORITA, co-founder of Sony, liked to recall his first trip to Germany in 1953, when a waiter stuck a small paper parasol in his ice-cream and sneered: “This is from your country.” Like many of his post-war compatriots, Mr Morita was ashamed that Japan was known for shoddy goods.

What if the unwashed masses got to vote on companies’ strategies?

ANGLO-SAXON capitalism has had a bad decade. It is accused of stoking inequality and financial instability.

Google can no longer count on political goodwill at home

“WE USED to be so dismissed,” says Jeremy Stoppelman, the boss of Yelp, an online-review site which has waged a six-year-long battle against Google over how the online giant ranks its search results.

Japan is embracing nursing-care robots

AT SHINTOMI nursing home in Tokyo, men and women sit in a circle following exercise instructions before singing along to a famous children’s song, “Yuyake Koyake” (“The Glowing Sunset”).

Australia is the new frontier for battery minerals

Recession proofer FORGET the “resource curse”. Australia is blessed with the stuff. For more than a quarter of a century it has not had a recession, thanks largely to Chinese demand for its raw materials.

China’s bicycle-sharing giants are still trying to make money

Shades of cycling joy STEVE JOBS liked to describe computers as “bicycles for the mind”—tools that let humans do things faster and more efficiently than their bodies would allow.

The tumultuous career of Patrick Drahi

WHAT does France’s corporate establishment make of the change in fortunes of Patrick Drahi, a telecoms billionaire who achieved brief greatness before crashing to earth?

The last media mogul stuns his industry with talk of selling

THE only media mogul still bestriding his industry in old-fashioned style is used to being a predator rather than prey, a builder of empires, not a dismantler of them.

How tech giants are ruled by control freaks

THIS month Schumpeter visited the Barnes Foundation, a gallery in Philadelphia full of paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh.