The Guardian view on the digital pound: an impetuous idea with a risky momentum of its own | Editorial

Two years ago, the House of Lords looked into whether the Bank of England should issue digital pounds to be held in electronic wallets. Peers were unconvinced, asking if this wasn’t “a solution in search of a problem”. Last December, MPs on the Treasury select committee said the same thing. The government’s response, however, was to tell the public to prepare for a “Britcoin” to be in use by the end of the decade. Physical money has been around for thousands of years for good reason. Cash is convenient, reliable and…

Uniqlo sues Shein over ‘imitation’ banana-shaped ‘it’ bag

Uniqlo is suing the Chinese online retailer Shein over the sale of items it claims copy its popular banana-shaped it-bag, the “round mini”. The petition demands Shein immediately stop the sale of “the imitation products” and compensation for damages incurred as a result of their sale. It was filed last month in the Tokyo district court against the fast-growing business’s parent groups Roadget and Fashion Choice, as well as Shein Japan. Uniqlo said it had filed the complaint “because it has determined that the form of the imitation products sold…

Tencent and Netease Rally on Signs China May Ease Gaming Proposal

The stock prices of Chinese video game companies rebounded Wednesday after investors seized on signals that the government was having second thoughts about proposed regulations on gaming. Since the weekend, regulators have attempted to calm the market after shares of the two largest video game companies, Tencent and Netease, plunged on Friday. When trading resumed after the four-day holiday weekend in Hong Kong, Tencent rose about 4 percent and Netease jumped 12 percent, recovering some of their losses. The events of the past several days underline the push-and-pull forces in…

Chinese Traders and Moroccan Ports: How Russia Flouts Global Tech Bans

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, engineers at Convex, a Russian telecommunications company, needed to find American equipment to transmit data to the country’s feared intelligence service. But no gear was flowing in after Western nations imposed sweeping new trade limits on Russia. Convex’s employees soon found a solution. While Cisco, a U.S. tech provider, had halted sales to Russia on March 3, 2022, Convex’s engineers easily obtained the Cisco gear they needed through an obscure Russian e-commerce site called Nag, which had gotten around international trade restrictions by…

U.S. Retailers Say an Old Trade Law Puts Them at a Disadvantage

American retailers have faced an existential crisis since e-commerce disrupted the industry’s traditional business models. But their latest threat, a group of retailers and policymakers say, is coming from a nearly century-old trade rule that has given their e-commerce rivals — many of them founded in China — an unfair advantage. The rule, known as de minimis, allows companies to ship packages worth less than $800 into the United States without paying duties and fees that Customs and Border Protection enforces. Nearly three million de minimis shipments enter the United…

Addictive, absurdly cheap and controversial: the rise of China’s Temu app

A chicken-shaped lamp. A toilet paper holder in the shape of a smiling velociraptor. An apron that catches beard hair during shaving. The list of unusual products goes on. Among the more everyday items are cleaning products, smartwatches, novelty T-shirts, knock-off sneakers and barbecue tools, but the common thread across all of them is that everything is incredibly, mindbogglingly cheap. This is Temu, the latest Chinese shopping app to take the internet by storm and raise questions about provenance, competition and value. Temu launched in the US in 2022 before…

Daniel Zhang Steps Down From Alibaba

Daniel Zhang, the departing chief executive and chairman of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba, has stepped down as head of the tech company’s cloud division, a position he held for mere months. The company announced in June that Mr. Zhang, would give up the chairman role this month to Joseph Tsai, a co-founder of Alibaba, and that Eddie Yongming Wu, another founder, would became the chief executive. But Mr. Zhang had been widely expected to continue to lead Alibaba’s cloud computing division, a position he assumed in March as part…

Congress Spotlights Forced Labor Concerns With Chinese Shopping Sites Shein and Temu

Lawmakers are flagging what they say are likely significant violations of U.S. law by Temu, a popular Chinese shopping platform, accusing it of providing an unchecked channel that allows goods made with forced labor to flow into the United States. In a report released Thursday, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party said Temu, a rapidly growing site that sells electronics, makeup, toys and clothing, had failed “to maintain even the facade of a meaningful compliance program” for its supply chains and was likely shipping products made with…

Bipartisan Bills Would Change a 100-Year-Old Trade Law

But Shein has faced scrutiny for some of its business practices, such as claims that it has copied designs and used cotton in its clothes from Xinjiang, a region in China where U.S. officials say Uyghurs have been abused by the government. Investors anticipate an initial public offering from Shein this year, which has only increased questions about the company. The bill introduced Thursday does not mention the company, but “Shein is probably the most obvious example of a company that has exploited the de minimis loophole the most,” Mr.…

Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent Signal First Steps in Bumpy Recovery

Eight months ago, the future of China’s largest internet companies looked grim. Covid-era lockdowns crushed sales and Beijing’s harsh tech regulations had spooked even audacious China investors. Shares of Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent dropped to some of their lowest levels in several years. With China’s economy now reopen, the tech giants this week released earnings reports that showed initial signs of recovery. But the financial results, the first issued since the end of “zero Covid” restrictions, also reflected the uneven pace of China’s economic rebound and signaled that the companies’ makeovers, while underway, are likely…