Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Kuroda speaks, Tesla swaps, Sprint bids, squids stolen

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What to watch for today

What’s up Kuroda’s sleeve? Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda is expected to speak at a Japanese bankers’ conference. Investors will be listening: they’re already alarmed at signs Abenomics might be faltering and Kuroda’s own lack of PR savvy hasn’t helped.

Brazil’s numbers better be good. Brazil will release its inflation data even as thousands continue to protest high cost of living and growing corruption.

Tesla’s next trick: swapping. The electric car-maker will demonstrate swapping out a used battery for a charged one, a technology hitherto dominated by Tesla’s recently bankrupt rival, Better Place. Tesla has up to now relied on charging batteries fast, but swapping would be faster.

A Midsummer Night’s Google Hangout. On the summer solstice, the Royal Shakespeare Company begins its three-day, interactive production of the bard’s most beloved play. You can follow along or take part on Google+.

While you were sleeping

Sprint saw Dish’s $4.40 and raised it. US-based Dish Networks, having given up trying to outbid Japan’s Softbank to buy US mobile carrier Sprint, is now trying to outbid Sprint to buy Clearwire. But Sprint’s latest $5 a share offer topped rival Dish Network’s $4.40 bid.

Facebook saw Twitter’s six seconds and raised it. Facebook introduced a video sharing service on its Instagram app, to rival Twitter’s Vine. Clips can be 15 seconds long, to Vine’s six seconds. Why? Well, that happens to be the length of many TV commercials.

Google: Improve privacy or pay a tiny fine.  France gave Google three months to change its privacy policies or risk a fine of up €150,000 ($200,000). Spain has launched proceedings against Google over five suspected data breaches.

Greece may be in for more trouble. The International Monetary Fund has reportedly threatened to suspend aid payments (paywall) to Athens by July-end. The IMF wants euro-zone leaders to plug a €3-4 billion gap in Greece’s rescue plan.

The US recovery chugged along. Sales of previously owned homes surged 4.2% in May to their highest level in three and a half years. More Americans than expected filed for unemployment benefits last week, but the increase wasn’t big to create concerns.

Europe’s slowdown slowed down. PMI data showed Europe’s services and manufacturing output fell again, but the rate of contraction was the smallest in 15 months.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo on how exporting higher education is the next phase of China’s global soft power push. China’s Soochow University, based in the eastern city of Suzhou, is raising money to build a satellite campus in Laos where it will enroll around 5,000 students. Other Chinese universities have announced plans for campuses in Malaysia and in the UK. Read more here. 

Plus: A midsummer day’s chart bonanza. The cost of everything in the world, the global trade in bull semen, what metadata reveals about us, the relationship between violence and foreign investment, and more: Quartz staffers chose their favorite charts of the first half of 2013.

Matters of debate

Inequality: Signal and the noise. The debate about inequality must keep up with the times.

The rise of sectarianism. Ordinary social connections, a basis for democracy, are breaking down in Arab countries.

English isn’t the language of the web. Studies show that the majority of online content is now in other languages.

Resource curse? India’s output per worker doubled in the last decade. That’s bad news for job seekers.

Surprising discoveries

Cow count. A Japanese company may have pulled off a $4.34 billion fraud using fake cows. 

The revolution will be tweeted. Somali militants put out highlights on Twitter as they attacked on a UN compound. 

Spot the skyline. Shocking images from the smog in Singapore.

Fines for fashion faux pas. Wear too silly a hat at horse-racing gala Royal Ascot, and you’ll have to pay up.

Squid thieves of the South Atlantic. Chinese boats are crossing the ocean to fish illegally off Argentina’s coast.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, favorite charts, Instagram videos to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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