Edition:
United Kingdom

Breakingviews

Breakingviews - Amazon-Uber food fight means empty bellies for all

The jury is out on whether there is any money to be made ferrying hot meals to time-poor urbanites. Amazon’s investment in loss-making Deliveroo, which operates in 500 European and Asian cities, defers the answer. It also means investors’ bellies will remain empty for the foreseeable future.

Breakingviews - China exhibits worrying trade war restraint

China is exhibiting some worrying trade war restraint. A popular nationalist tabloid suggested this week that Beijing could retaliate against Washington using the country’s grip on rare-earth supplies, U.S. debt or American business on the mainland. A better question is why these weapons, some of which have been deployed in the past, sit idle. It points to a different, and more dangerous, conflict.

Breakingviews - Cox: Imagine the end of the oil supertanker era

Imagine an oil supertanker. Not where it’s usually visible, on the watery horizons of the world’s great harbor cities, but instead standing up vertically from the sea. The longest of these would reach some 1,000 feet into the sky – higher than the Eiffel Tower and nearly level with the Empire State Building. It would be unmissable.

Washington and Beijing push tech chasm wider

Washington and Beijing are pushing a tech chasm even wider. U.S. President Donald Trump has launched a fresh assault on telecom giant Huawei, as China moves to strengthen its own cybersecurity rules. It will further divide the sector and complicate trade negotiations. A costly technology cold war looks here to stay.

Breakingviews - Facebook eyes new path around China’s great wall

Facebook is eyeing an indirect path around China’s great wall. Blocked from operating there directly, the $520 billion social network is considering alternatives that include taking minority stakes in local tech firms, people familiar with the matter have told Breakingviews. Politicians in Beijing and Washington may not like that idea. For Mark Zuckerberg's firm, though, it's probably the best option going. 

WeWork gets complex, but its problem is simple

WeWork is getting more complex as it readies for an initial public offering, but its central problem remains simple. The shared-office firm has set up a unit to buy buildings it can then let out to its customers. It’s a way to hedge against rising lease costs and cash in on WeWork’s supposed halo effect. If tenants prove fickle or demand subsidies, though, the benefit of owning property only goes so far.

Breakingviews - Tencent deserves its premium over Alibaba

Alibaba or Tencent? The Chinese tech titans, with a combined market valuation of $900 billion, face slower growth in their respective strongholds of video games and e-commerce. Both are also fighting for dominance in financial services but, overall, Tencent has an edge that justifies a higher earnings multiple.

Breakingviews - Trade row adds to headaches for next Foxconn boss

An intensifying trade spat is one more headache for Foxconn’s next boss. The Taiwanese iPhone assembler reported a worse-than-expected drop in quarterly earnings on Tuesday, against a backdrop of cooling tech demand. Now it has to deal with straining U.S.-China ties too. Chairman Terry Gou has sought to diversify away from Apple’s phones, in part by scrambling up the value chain. His successor will have to climb faster.

Breakingviews - Three reasons a wonder drug can cost $5 mln

Novartis's gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy could set a record at up to $5 million per patient. Zolgensma appears astonishingly effective against a rare, inherited disease, sufferers of which rarely live beyond four. Even so, the high price is likely to fuel the debate about whether any drug should cost that much. Sometimes, the answer is yes.

About Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

Breakingviews Video