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WeWork offices in San Francisco
Image copyright: Reuters/Kate Munsch
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Here’s what you need to know

WeWork’s market debut was a comeback moment. Shares rose by more than 11% after the company went public through a special-purpose acquisition merger with an acquiring firm called BowX.

Leaked documents appear to show major countries lobbying against phasing out fossil fuels. According to BBC News, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Australia are among those asking the UN to modify its policies.

Facebook’s oversight board isn’t happy about being kept in the dark. The body’s investigation into the site’s preferential treatment of high profile users said the company’s lack of transparency was “not acceptable.”

Google is reducing its cut for in-app subscriptions. Starting Jan. 1, the company said it will charge a 15% commission for all apps, after receiving pushback from global regulators and developers.

The US won’t impose tariffs on countries with a digital services tax. An agreement was reached with Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and Britain to eventually drop levies targeting US tech companies like Google and Amazon as a 15% global minimum tax deal moves forward.

India has administered more than a billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines. While it’s a significant milestone, the country lags behind others in fully vaccinating a majority of its population, covering only a little over 20% of Indians.

South Korea’s first homemade rocket was a liftoff success. However, it couldn’t quite get its dummy satellite payload into orbit.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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What to watch for

Indebted Chinese developer Evergrande will officially be in default Saturday if it doesn’t deliver on a $83.5 million interest payment on an international bond. That will make its position even more precarious.

Investors, customers and other creditors of Evergrande probably thought—and prayed—that in the 30-day grace period since its first missed payment, there’d be some sort of resolution engineered by authorities in Beijing. That hasn’t happened, and Evergrande’s own efforts are yielding few results. The company announced Wednesday that a deal to raise $2.6 billion had collapsed. Its shares, which resumed trading in Hong Kong yesterday after a 17-day halt, closed down 12.5%.

China’s third-quarter GDP numbers showed the efforts to reduce unmanageable debt in the real estate sector are weighing on the economy. Evergrande’s own missed payments to offshore bondholders now total $275 million. But Beijing, while making the occasional reassuring noise, hasn’t blinked.


Amazon Air takes off

The pandemic hasn’t just changed consumer shopping habits. It changed Amazon’s too. The e-commerce giant went on a buying spree in the summer of 2020 for a particular item: planes.

The binge marked the fastest expansion yet of Amazon’s air fleet. Now, fueled by an increase in e-commerce demand and supply chain chaos, Amazon Air’s ambitions (and its number of daily flights globally) are cruising upward.

Amazon’s air freight investments aren’t just an urgent effort to move goods faster as the holiday shopping season approaches. Analysts who watch Amazon believe it will be one of the first steps toward competing directly with incumbent couriers like FedEx and UPS as a global delivery service.


Make yourself supply-crisis-proof for the holidays

Well, as close as you can get anyway. In our upcoming members-only How To email, we’ll give you some advice that could help you circumvent the whole situation. Holiday: saved.

Here are some tips from the email, sent from us to you with no delay:

📚Embrace the concept of secondhand, whether from a store, an online seller that’s not too far away, or just your own stash of books.

🔇 Lower your volume, by reducing the amount of recipients on your list (they’ll be OK) or just make your family agree to attempt to make at least a portion of their gifts by hand.

🔮Shop year-round in the future, and every holiday season you’ll thank yourself for stocking good, thoughtful gifts that, fingers crossed, your loved ones will still want by the time they open them.

Becoming a member directly supports the work we do and gives you access to every bit of it.

✨ Become a Quartz member ✨


Surprising discoveries

Hong Kongers in need of some shut-eye can take a “sleeping bus tour.” The five-hour ride includes a sleeping mask and earplugs (BYO pillow and slippers).

We now know Vikings made it to North America as early as 1021. A new method for dating artifacts was able to provide researchers with a more precise date.

Beware the job postings at Bastion Secure. The fake company—which uses the logo BS—is actually the ransomware group whose software was used in the Colonial Pipeline hack.

A dealmaking company won’t let employees say the word “deal.” Private equity firm Partners Group charges partners $1,000 for each violation (the money goes to charity).

A US court recognized animals as legal persons. Specifically, the descendants of drug lord Pablo Escobar’s hippos, which the Colombian government has been trying to cull.


That’s all from us! But do remind any newly legalized animals in your life to thank lobsters.

Image copyright: Giphy