🌏 Adani responds

Plus: Hong Kong scraps more covid rules

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Gautam Adani had a 413-page answer to the Hindenburg report. The billionaire refuted allegations of fraud, hoping to calm investors in the midst of a planned $2.5 billion share sale (more below).

A top Chinese nuclear weapons lab has been acquiring blacklisted US chips. A 1997 US export ban hasn’t stopped the firm from buying semiconductors made by Intel and Nvidia since 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.


China’s central bank rolled over green lending incentives. Three policies that encourage banks to support companies working to limit carbon emissions are being extended.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak fired his party’s chairman. Nadhim Zahawi was ousted after an investigation alleged he wasn’t transparent about his tax affairs while serving as a senior minister in the government.


Nigerians got more time to trade in old naira notes. Citizens originally had six weeks to exchange them for the redesigned currency, but the deadline was extended to Feb. 10.

Japanese travelers can now get Chinese visas. China’s retaliatory, three-week suspension of visas, put in place after Japan rolled out stricter covid protocols for travelers coming from China, was lifted.

What to watch for

Today (Jan. 30) Hong Kong is scrapping its five-day isolation rule for people who test positive for covid.


It’s the latest step the city has taken in dismantling its system of covid restrictions, which were abandoned by mainland China last month. Hong Kong has already removed mandatory PCR tests for arrivals as well as vaccine passes and the need for rapid test results to access bars and banquets.

These anti-covid measures, however, remain in place:

😷 The mask mandate (both indoors and outdoors). The government hopes to lift the restriction in March or April, when the weather is warmer.


🧪 Daily rapid tests for students until the end of February at least. Teachers and other staff can stop on Jan. 30.

📜 A negative PCR test result is required for travelers between the mainland and Hong Kong.


Why are Adani stocks tumbling?

One of the richest people in the world, billionaire Gautam Adani, is in trouble.

Last week, Hindenburg Research, a New York-based financial research firm, published a report accusing India’s Adani Group of committing the “the largest con in corporate history.” Since then, the conglomerate’s shares have plunged over 18%, wiping out an estimated $50 billion in stock market value.


The reverberations of this rout have been felt across Indian markets. Several public sector banks and the state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) hold large stakes in the company. If Adani collapses, taxpayers will also take a hit.

A line chart showing the share price of Adani's listed firms. They plummeted after fraud allegations were released.
Graphic: Mimansa Verma

Hindenburg is no newcomer to taking aim at big corporate names. Founded in 2017 by activist short-seller Nathan Anderson, the firm has previously gone after the hedge fund Platinum Partners, the electric truckmaker Nikola, and Twitter.

You’ve got to be drunk to understand what’s in Fireball

What’s the difference between Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and Fireball Cinnamon? For starters, one has whiskey in it and the other, well, does not.


It’s admittedly easy to confuse the two, and that’s why the maker of Fireball is being accused of fraud and deceptive marketing practices. As Quartz’s Scott Nover explains, maybe the only way to not get confused is to just take a shot of whatever Fireball you can find.

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, luxe vacations, and bear confidence to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Mimansa Verma, Ananya Bhattacharya, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.