Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—GM talks China, Amazon’s cloud clout, Uber defeats de Blasio, butt-dial liability

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What to watch for today

GM talks about China. The company’s performance in the world’s biggest car market will be at the center of its quarterly results. Chinese car sales have slowed along with the rest of its economy, posing a challenge to foreign automakers who have been counting on the country to offset slow growth elsewhere.

Amazon investors are primed for a cloud burst. The online retail giant’s quarterly results will provide new insight into Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing arm, which is expected to return to higher profit margins after a price cut last year. The company will also release growth figures for its Amazon Prime service, designed to extract more business from loyal users by offering them streaming media and other perks.

Donald Trump visits the US-Mexico border. The hot-button Republican presidential frontrunner (though take those polls with a grain of salt) will visit Laredo, Texas, where he is certain to expand on his controversial views on immigration.

A bevy of earnings:  Unilever, Syngenta, Visa, McDonald’s, GM, 3M, Comcast, Eli Lilly, Starbucks, United Continental, Under Armour, Dunkin Brands, and Pandora all report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Maritime hijackings are on the rise, especially in Asia. A newly released report from the International Maritime Bureau tallied 134 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first half of the year, with 11 of 13 hijackings taking place in Southeast Asia.

Ikea recalled 27 million dressers. The Malm chests and dressers easily tip over, which has led to the deaths of two children last year. Customers aren’t supposed to bring the furniture back to stores, but will receive anchoring sets to secure it. The recall was announced by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which also called on the entire industry to make more stable furniture.

German carmakers outbid Silicon Valley to buy Nokia’s mapping unit. The parent companies of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are close to a deal to pay about €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) for the technology that is crucial for self-driving cars, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The automakers are fearful of rival efforts by companies like Google and Uber.

Wall Street got a taste for pet food. Natural pet food maker Blue Buffalo’s shares surged 35% during its debut, valuing the company at $5.34 billion. The successful IPO comes after Nestlé Purina Petcare sued the company for falsely advertising its pet food as containing no poultry by-products.

Uber won its duel with New York City—for now. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has dropped his plan to cap the number of new Uber drivers, after a social media onslaught from the aggressive start-up. The city will still conduct a four-month study on the environmental and traffic impact of Uber and other car service apps, but won’t limit the number of drivers in the meantime.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on how much fakes are costing the European fashion industry. ”Counterfeits cost European brands the value of 9.7% of their total sales every year, or a staggering €26.3 billion ($28.7 billion), according to a new report by Europe’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Those lost sales ripple outward, resulting in approximately 363,000 lost jobs across the manufacturing, retail, and wholesale sectors of Europe’s fashion industries.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

US incarceration has caused more crime than it has prevented. The system turns small-time offenders into career criminals.

CrossFit’s true strength is its business plan. Affiliates shoulder the capital costs but the parent company maintains a tight grip.

Performance reviews are worse than useless. Consulting firm Accenture is the latest to ditch them entirely.

The US and Canada might one day go to war…The flashpoint could be two disputed islands between Maine and New Brunswick.

…and your DNA could replace your password. But it’s part of a creepy, dystopian future that we’re better off avoiding.

Surprising discoveries

Celiac disease patients may soon be able to eat foods with gluten. The solution is in egg yolks.

Armadillos caused a leprosy outbreak in Florida. Nine people were infected after coming in close contact with the scaly animals.

Moscow launched an outdoor cinema for its homeless. The audience voted for a Soviet slapstick for opening night.

A butt-dial can now get you in trouble. A US court ruled accidental calls are not protected by the right to privacy.

Sony Pictures is making a movie about emojis. _(ツ)_/¯

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, US-Canada war scenarios, and butt-dial foibles to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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