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Here’s what you need to know
Xi Jinping could be China’s president for another term—or maybe longer. The Communist Party’s Central Committee adopted a “historical resolution” that places Xi’s vision at the center of the country’s success and called on China to “unite around the party with Xi at the core.”
Alibaba had a record 540.3 billion yuan ($84.5 billion) in transactions on Singles Day. However, year-over-year sales growth was the slowest yet as China’s tech crackdown loomed. Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese stocks like Alibaba and JD.com posted big gains.
Didi is getting ready for China to wrap up its cybersecurity investigation. The ride-hailing company plans to relaunch its apps by the end of the year and has set aside 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) for a potential fine, Reuters reports.
Subaru launched its first all-electric car. The Solterra SUV was developed with Toyota, Subaru’s largest shareholder, which will build the vehicle in Japan.
Belarus’s president wants the EU to think very carefully about new sanctions. Alexander Lukashenko said he could cut gas deliveries to the bloc if it imposes new penalties over the migrant crisis at Poland’s border. Separately, Baltic states warned the crisis could escalate to a military conflict.
What to watch for
COP26, the UN climate conference, is wrapping up. Alok Sharma, the UK official presiding over the summit, has promised to wrap things up by this evening, but given the number of issues that remain unresolved (and if past COPs are any guide), talks could very well stretch into the weekend. And thus far, none of the UN’s three goals for the conference has come close to being realized.
👀 Governments will have to be held accountable for their pledges around fossil fuels and emissions—among other things. Though even if they make good on their promises, the world will still warm by 1.8ºC, according to Climate Action Tracker.
🤝 The US and China—the world’s two biggest emitters—have announced they’ll work together to do better.
💸 Climate financing will be raised… and possibly spent? No one knows how $80 billion of it was used in 2019.
Will industrial shipping bags save the supply chain?
In the blithe, carefree pre-supply-crisis days, makers of dry foodstuffs (think coffee and rice) would fill boxy shipping containers with small sacks. Now, they’re opting to cut out the middle-container in favor of Super Sacks—the generic, less sexy term is “Flexible Industrial Bulk Container.” These massive bags aren’t new, but their ability to save space as well as time has increased their popularity among manufacturers by 50%.
The one drawback: A human could throw a 40-pound bag of dried beans over a shoulder, but 2,000-pound FIBCs require a forklift. If those, in turn, become scarce, we’ll be on the hunt for the next hero.
Crypto vs. the critics
Even bitcoin isn’t immune to supply chain snarls. “Miners,” the computers run day and night to mine cryptocurrency, are victims to the same stopped-up channels of global trade as just about everything else.
But crypto’s still in a bull market, and its skeptics are slowly but surely coming around to the value and power of blockchain.
Here’s what Jad Esber, co-founder of the Web3 company Koodos, had to say about how crypto struck him at first:
My initial reaction was this is the worst of capitalism masquerading under some variant of the common prosperity concept and NFTs are a multi-level marketing scheme for tech elites.
We spoke with Jad and 11 other former naysayers to understand their “unlock moment” and where they see crypto going in the future. ✦ It’s available to all Quartz readers for a limited time. Want to unlock our whole guide to crypto’s new mainstream status? Try a membership free for a week.
Cats keep tabs on their owners’ whereabouts. Research found felines know where their humans are, even when they can’t see them.
A Maine fisherman found a “cotton candy” lobster. He named the one-in-100-million blue and purple crustacean Haddie, after his granddaughter.
Deer in the US could carry SARS-CoV-2 “indefinitely.” The animals could periodically transmit the virus that causes covid-19 to humans, making it virtually impossible to eliminate.
Christopher Walken painted over a Banksy work. The actor did so while filming the BBC drama The Outlaws, but the destruction was very real.
Oat milk isn’t winning the alt-milk wars… yet. It’s second only to almond milk, but its market share is growing fast. In the latest episode of our Quartz Obsession podcast, Quartz’s Sarah Todd explains why the new alt-milk on the block has made such a splash.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, watchful cats, and your alt-milk preferences to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Susan Howson and Liz Webber.
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