5 Quartz stories we really liked
Who gets that cold gold?
The Winter Olympics are nearly upon us, and countries are sending their best to Beijing in hopes they’ll add to (or in some cases begin) the tallying up of medals won over the years.
You might argue that countries with large populations, like Germany and the US, have an advantage: they simply have more choice. But here’s how countries performed when comparing wins to population at the most recent Winter Olympics. Take a look at where China falls on the list.
This year, China is hoping to go for that cold gold. Follow the Winter Games with our Need to Know: Beijing Olympics newsletter.
In tech companies we trust more than ever
A new survey, part of the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer (pdf) report, shows that people trust the tech industry more than any other—even more than healthcare, the sector the world has relied on most heavily during the pandemic.
The findings go against the grain of reports of an ongoing “techlash”—a wave of hostility to technology, its numerous breaches of privacy and security, and its disconcerting pace of disruptive change. Edelman’s newest numbers suggest that tech has perhaps benefited from an overall cross-sector rise in trust. But it also follows a period in which technology has proven even more indispensable to our lives during the pandemic.
Assessing companies’ climate targets
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) gives companies a process for making meaningful, and measurable, emissions reduction goals rooted in climate science. A group of 243 companies have set targets to reach net-zero emissions before 2050, on top of committing to reductions in line with limiting global temperatures to 1.5ºC higher than pre-industrial levels. These companies include some well-known names: Microsoft, Walmart, and IKEA.
We’ve gathered data on those 243 companies and visualized their ambitious near-term targets. Check out the interactive graphic.
India’s newest decacorn
The accelerated adoption of food and online grocery paired with a rise in consumer demand for food delivery is a well-cooked combination for India’s latest decacorn: Swiggy.
The SoftBank-backed food-tech firm just closed a $700-million funding round led by asset manager Invesco. With its new valuation of $10.7 billion, Swiggy is the latest firm to enter India’s decacorn club of companies with at least a $10 billion valuation. It’s also better positioned to take on rivals like Zomato and powerhouses like Reliance and Amazon, which have made investments in the food delivery space.
We’re obsessed with super apps
There are two kinds of apps. The ones that are super apps—that allow users to talk, shop, and pay in one place—and the ones that want to be super apps. Before they are endowed with, ahem, super powers, these apps often start out with one killer service like messaging (WeChat) or ridehailing (Grab) before adding more and more services to keep users coming back.
You may notice that both of those companies are based in Asia, which has been quick to harness the power of the super app. One reason is finance—which is deeply embedded in some of Asia’s most powerful apps—has largely remained off limits for the US tech giants because of regulatory restraints. Another reason goes back to the great Asian technology leapfrog: China basically skipped over the credit card era and went straight to mobile wallets. The Quartz Weekly Obsession only does one thing, really, but it does it so well.
How to make stress work for you
Is one of your goals this year to reduce your stress levels? Perhaps it’s time to change your mindset. While you need to manage your biological response to stressful situations and avoid burnout, you can also learn to work with life’s pressures and use your stress to actually improve your health and wellbeing.
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