Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition— Mobile startup, Spanish austerity, expensive Luanda

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Former Nokia workers raised €200 million to launch a new mobile operating system. Codenamed “Sailfish,” the software could break through the Apple-Android mobile IP stalemate with fresh ideas. Research and manufacturing operations will be based in Hong Kong and focused on the China market.

Will new contracts between euro nations solve the crisis? The Financial Times obtained a draft agenda for a summit later this month describing all 17 countries in the euro monetary union making hard fiscal commitments in Brussels. Euroskeptics, beware!

Taiwan joins US visa waiver program. The Republic of China is the 37th country whose citizens can travel to the US for 90 days without a visa, which is expected to increase tourism, ease business travel and make the People’s Republic of China fairly upset.

A swarm of European economic indicators. Measures of business activity in the European services and retail sectors will provide a snapshot of the region’s slowdown. Later, in the US, new measures of employment and service industry activity will be released.


Spain’s 17 provinces agreed to new austerity targets. The move reinforced the credibility of the country’s new budget program at a time when restive provinces, especially economically vital Catalonia, have raised the prospect of separation.

Samsung formally accused Apple of stealing its IP with the iPhone 5.  The on-going battle between the two companies over mobile tech licensing isn’t winding up anytime soon, much to everyone’s dismay.

The European Commission endorsed bright lines between consumer banking and riskier investment and trading businesses. Now all it needs is a unified regulator to enforce them!

US automakers Ford and GM reported flat sales in September thanks to competition from Italian-American hybrid Chrysler, Germany’s Volkswagen, and Japan’s Toyota.

Iran’s currency plunged to new lows. Thanks to UN sanctions, the rial has lost 80% of its value in the last year. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised the country’s nuclear program would continue, but analysts asked if the country’s inability to import vital supplies would lead to public unrest.

South Africa’s government will bail out the national airline. South African Airlines will receive a $600 million rescue to absorb expected losses and, it hopes, help the company become a going concern once-again. (Reminder: Do not name your airline after a country.)


Matt Phillips on America’s newest subprime bubble: “Global investors are desperate to find investments that pay them a decent rate of interest, or ‘yield.’ Because subprime borrowers are riskier, the investments built around their loans do supply that higher yield. Increasingly, investors are liking the sound of that. And subprime auto bond deals have been picking up steam. Analysts at S&P think that some $15-17 billion could flow into new subprime auto bonds this year, up from $11.9 billion in 2011 and not too far off from the $15.3 billion seen in 2007, before the crisis struck.” Read more here.


Does Australia have the best central bank in the world? The country hasn’t had a recession in 20 years.

Does India have a problem talking equality? How Indians can start new discussion about sharing the benefits of growth.

Is America suffering from brain drain? A conversation with Vivek Wadhwa about the Silicon Valleys springing up around the world.

What’s it like to be Jewish in China? The challenges of living in a country that respects both Judaism and Hitler.


Visit the second-most expensive expat city in the world, after Tokyo: Luanda, Angola.

Pay $25,000 to apply to college? Some Chinese students do it to attend US schools.

Listen to the haunting space chorus that surrounds the earth.

Meet the world’s shortest domain names.

ALSO TODAY: Germany celebrates its national unity day, commemorating the country’s reunification in 1990.

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