Bank of Korea vs. coronavirus, Apple in India, Android-wielding villains

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What to watch for today

The Bank of Korea could battle an epidemic with rate cuts. The central bank of South Korea is projected to push its policy rate to its lowest-ever point, in an attempt to even out the havoc coronavirus has been wreaking on the nation’s economy, which was already reeling from trade disputes when the epidemic hit.

Baidu may rally. The Chinese internet services provider had been trailing off in the first three quarters of 2019, but is expected to post solid earnings for the fourth, aided by savvy investments in its mobile search engine, cloud computing, and AI tools, including its DuerOS voice assistance.

Donald Trump outlines the White House’s coronavirus response. As the epidemic makes its way across the globe, the upcoming US presidential campaign has begun to take note, with all candidates—including the incumbent—beginning to pressure each other for plans. Trump will speak to press alongside health officials.

While you were sleeping

Apple held its annual meeting with investors. CEO Tim Cook called coronavirus “a challenge” but declined to answer questions about its impact on the company. He confirmed India’s online Apple store will launch this year and the first retail locations will open in 2021.

Coronavirus’s business impact is spreading. The C-suite is taking note, as the number of canceled events grows, and Japan’s president Shinzo Abe urged a two-week moratorium on sports and cultural gatherings. Israel recommended its citizens not travel abroad, while Germany is “heading for an epidemic” and Italy’s death count rose to 12. Meanwhile, Facebook said it will ban misleading coronavirus ads. On the plus side, videoconferencing startup Zoom said it has added more users this year than all of 2019.

A meeting to salvage the Iran nuclear deal didn’t yield many results. A Vienna confab between China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and Iran didn’t even bring up the process for sorting out how to save it.

Panasonic pulled the plug on a Tesla partnership. The Japanese company announced it will stop making solar panels with the automaker at a New York factory in May, but plans to continue working on their joint battery venture in Nevada.

China shed light on the dark side of the moon. The Chang’e 4 lunar lander made its historic touchdown on the moon’s far side in early 2019, and the China National Space Administration released its first findings: a different kind of rock, probably due to a major impact.

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Quartz daily obsession

Are you on TikTok? The short-form 15-second video clip app has hundreds of millions of users internationally, and has been downloaded 1.3 million times, making it one of China’s most successful global apps in recent years. It’s created new popular dances, exposed little-known musicians, and welcomed new forms of creativity. Take a few seconds to enjoy the Quartz Daily Obsession.

Matters of debate

Billionaires should stop being so sensitive. Name-calling is a small price to pay for extreme wealth, says one resilient billionaire.

The new head of Univision doesn’t speak Spanish. Shareholders vs. audiences: who’s more important?

Do soda taxes work? Despite the fanfare at their introduction, the answer is… hard to find.

Surprising discoveries

It’s a new moon—literally. A new mini satellite has landed in Earth’s orbit.

Pope Francis wants Catholics to give up trolling for Lent. The pontiff spoke against “useless words, gossip, rumors, [and]tittle-tattle.”

Movie villains use Android. Apple reportedly won’t let bad guys have iPhones.

The world’s smelliest fruit could be an electric charger. Researchers found that durian and jackfruit can be used to store energy.

Instagram-worthy bread? Thank coronavirus. A Vietnam bakery found a new use for excess dragon fruit that couldn’t be exported to China.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, orbiting bodies, and tittle-tattle to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android, and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Susan Howson and Liz Webber.