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Quartz Daily Brief — Asia Edition– Chinese consumers, Google, maternity leave

GOOD MORNING QUARTZ READERS IN ASIA!

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR TODAY:

A new twist in the debate between Germany and Spain. After weeks of debate, Spain is ready to ask for a bailout from the European Central Bank, Reuters reported, but German officials caution patience: They hope that Spain’s new austerity program will allow it to avoid a formal rescue.

“The biggest opportunity in the history of man.” 3,800% growth in Chinese consumer spending will create a $10 trillion market for scrambling multinationals. On that note, late today China will release new data on non-manufacturing business activity.

A Korean Steelmaker launched a AU$1 billion bid to take over Arrium, the Australian metals company. The cheeky bid of AU$0.75 per share was rejected, but observers expect a bolstered offer will be forthcoming.

Australia’s central bank will announce its interest rate decision. Moderate easing expected.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

In Georgia, a nasty election delivers an ambiguous mandate to the country’s legislature.

US manufacturing outstrips expectations. American manufacturers reported expanding business even as their Chinese, German, and Japanese counterparts acknowledged diminished activity.

Savvy China watchers know to watch iron prices to check in on the country’s economic slowdown.

US Fed Chair Ben Bernanke gave an important speech about the Fed’s policies. It was a ringing defense of the bank’s new plan to fight unemployment.

Airline profits are on the rise. The world’s most maligned industry gets some good news.

The stock market value of Google exceeded that of Microsoft for the first time ever.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE:

Stephanie Gruner Buckley tracks the European financial crisis: “It’s been a tense few weeks in Greece. While politicians wrangled, police officers, military personnel, and judges walked off their jobs to protest the cuts. Protests turned violent amid general strikes that had shuttered businesses and public services. This week doctors, lawyers, and plumbers—self-employed workers targeted by new measures—are expected to join the fray. Without further aid, Greece risks defaulting on its debt, being expelled from the euro zone, and suffering swift economic collapse. This isn’t going to happen, suggested stories in the German press this past weekend. European leaders, concerned about a domino-effect that could result from such an exit, will overlook budget shortfalls and the slow pace of reforms, and get Greece its money.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE:

Hey, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, it’s okay to go back to work right after having a baby. After all, I did.

Is it the end of men? Nope.

It’s time for India to start buying robots. To compete with China, the country will need automated assembly lines, not cheaper labor.

Related: Kenneth Rogoff still believes that technology’s benefits are broadly shared.

Ride the iron road from Scotland to Singapore: Parag Khanna traces the railroads creating new economic links between Europe and his favorite semi-authoritarian state.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES:

A genetically engineered cow that produces anti-allergy milk. Finally, some long-awaited innovation in the milk sector.

Why billionaires are so whiny.

Zuckerberg owns a tie! He won’t wear it for the investors, but Dmitry Medvedev, the noted-fashion plate and Russian prime minister, merits more formal attire.

ALSO TODAY: British 10-year bonds and housing prices are released, and later in the day, US automobile sales. On this day in 1859, Gandhi was born.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, requests for new kinds of genetically engineered milk, and cheeky takeover bids to hi@qz.com.

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