China import offer, Meituan IPO, dancing queen

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Air China resumes flights to North Korea. The state carrier’s route was suspended in November during a period of tension between Beijing and North Korea over Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons program. Its resumption signals closer ties ahead of next week’s US-North Korea summit.

Pernod Ricard banks on spiking China sales. The global spirits giant will hold an investor day in China, its second-largest market, as it attempts to boost consumption of brands such as Absolut vodka and Martell cognac among the country’s growing middle class.

Global economy data dump. The Reserve Bank of India’s interest-rate decision is due (paywall), along with the US trade deficit and Australia GDP figures.

While you were sleeping

China offered to buy $70 billion in US goods to head off a trade war. During negotiations in Beijing this weekend, officials proposed to US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross that Chinese firms would expand their purchases of agriculture, energy, and manufacturing products, the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall). In return, the Trump administration would cancel its threatened tariffs on Chinese goods.

Meituan is reportedly planning a September IPO. The world’s fourth-most valuable startup, most recently valued at about $30 billion, is aiming to double that amount when it lists in Hong Kong, according to US tech site The Information (paywall). Meituan, which recently acquired Mobike for $2.7 billion, would use the funds to expand its ride- and bike-hailing services.

Conservative billionaire David Koch is stepping down due to poor health. The longtime leader of the family-owned conglomerate Koch Industries will retire immediately, and step down from the leadership of the Americans for Prosperity political action group. David and his brother Charles Koch are each worth about $47 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Fashion designer Kate Valentine Spade was found dead in an apparent suicide. The iconic handbag designer sold her namesake company, founded with her husband Andy Spade, in 2006. She was 55.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Annabelle Timsit on Japan’s push to change the stigma against crying babies: “Because of the country’s declining birth rate, the sound tends to be more unusual … Perhaps because the sound of babies crying is less common in Japan, a lot of credence has been given to the idea that crying babies are an entirely avoidable phenomenon.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US can’t have both more exports and more tariffs. Constantly changing its trade strategy with China will do the US more harm than good.

Stop making prequels. They’re marketing stunts with pre-baked endings that move the overall story nowhere.

Waymo may get $465 million in US electric-car tax breaks, and that’s okay. A subsidized deal to buy electric Chrysler minivans will help manufacturers achieve economies of scale.

Surprising discoveries

The Queen of England loves to cut a rug to “Dancing Queen.” The 91-year-old monarch always tries to hit the dance floor when ABBA comes on.

Tweak your coffee intake for peak performance. The US Army has a new algorithm to help sleep-deprived professionals strategize their caffeine consumption.

Peacocks attack their reflections in luxury cars. The bird’s reflection may seem beautiful to us, but they just see another aggressive male.

Russian farmers are harvesting cryptocurrency. The “kolion” is replacing the ruble in rural communities who don’t want to pay high interest rates.

An intoxicated woman rode a horse through a drive-through liquor store. Police in Queensland, Australia believe drunk riding is just as bad as drunk driving.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, rhythmic rulers, and coffee hacks to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Susan Howson and Adam Pasick.