Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—A $4 smartphone, Apple Pay hits China, robot fairy tales

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What to watch for today

Apple Pay rolls out across China. A year and a half after it launched in the US, the mobile payment app becomes available for Chinese iPhone users, where analysts think conditions are ripe for its success. But it’s a latecomer to the market, and is up against two major local competitors.

India starts selling a $4 smartphone. The Freedom 251 runs the Android Lollipop operating system and is priced at a jaw-dropping Rs251 ($3.66). Reports suggest the government is subsidizing it.

A fraught election day in Uganda. At least one person has been killed in clashes ahead of the presidential vote. Most Ugandans were born after 1986, when current president Yoweri Museveni was first elected, and many of these so-called “Museveni babies” want change.

Walmart seeks a turnaround. Analysts expect the world’s largest retailer to post a drop in quarterly earnings and revenue. Walmart is responding to pressures from online competitors with plans for a new mobile app, its own gas stations, and fewer “Express” stores.

While you were sleeping

A car bomb killed 28 in Turkey’s capital. The blast, which was targeted at military personnel, also injured about 60 people, said a government spokesperson. So far nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A Chinese company bought Ingram Micro. Hainan Airlines owner HNA agreed to pay $6 billion for the US-based global distributor of electronics, including iPhones and network systems. The acquisition should help HNA with technological assets and logistical reach.

Nike dropped Manny Pacquiao for his hateful comments about gay people. The sportswear giant ended its endorsement deal with the boxing champion, who said in a video that gay people “are worse than animals.” Pacquiao made the comments on Filipino TV.

Minutes from last month’s US Fed meeting were released. They show that policymakers are deeply concerned about economic turmoil hurting the US. That bad news was good news for equity markets, which rallied on the decreased likelihood of higher interest rates.

Toyota recalled 2.9 million cars. The company will fix a rear seatbelt in the Rav 4 sports utility vehicle, following one death and one injury in North America. That is in addition to the millions of cars it recalled in connection with Takata airbags.

Australia’s jobless rate took a surprise jump. The unemployment rate rose to 6% in January, despite expectations it would remain flat at 5.8%. But the increase may say less about lost jobs in January and more about wrongly inflated employment figures last quarter.

Quartz obsession interlude

Amy Wang with a complete guide to reading—and even enjoying—classic literature. “You’ve been hearing about these supposedly elite, magnificent books for forever, yet you’ve never really picked one up and cracked open its cover. Or clicked, in this digital age. Still, it’s likely you’ve wanted to read a classic novel at least at some point in your life. The time is now.” Read more here.

Market haiku

Noah probably
was just as relieved when he
saw those doves flying

Matters of debate

Silicon Valley’s gender bias may begin at home. Male founders’ wives are often stay-at-home moms, and that could be shaping founders’ views on women’s roles.

Strategies for academic success may backfire at work. “Good student” behavior is antithetical to success at work.

Scaling up is not always a smart business move. Growth can kill the spark that made success possible in the first place.

Surprising discoveries

For China’s upper middle class, driving for Uber is a cure for loneliness. It acts as a real-life social networking platform.

An Italian coffee pioneer’s ashes were buried in one of his iconic espresso makers. Renato Bialetti, creator of the stove-top Moka machine, passed away last week at 93.

Married couples become similar on a molecular level. Sharing a roof means developing matching immune systems.

Fables could teach robots the difference between right and wrong. Reading to them might lessen the chances that they’ll one day kill us all.

There’s a worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness. The culprit is probably less time spent outdoors.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Moka memorials, and robot reading lists You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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