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Here’s what you need to know
Taiwan will create a Lithuania fund. The $200 million investment is a direct response to Lithuania’s economic troubles with Beijing after the former allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in its capital.
Hong Kong enacted sweeping flight bans. In addition to strict social distancing measures, passenger flights from eight countries, including the US and the UK, will no longer be allowed.
Evergrande asked for a little more time. The Chinese development company wants six more months before it has to make onshore bond payments.
China Mobile’s Shanghai listing raised $7.7 billion. China’s biggest IPO in a decade came a few months after the world’s largest mobile network operator was forcibly delisted in New York.
GM revealed its answer to the Ford F-150. Just after Toyota unseated it as America’s top-selling automaker, GM’s new electric Chevy Silverado will have a long way to go to outsell Ford’s massively popular pickup.
Australia will deport Novak Djokovic. A visa issue will keep the unvaccinated tennis player from participating in the Australian Open.
Meghan Markle will get £1 in a privacy invasion settlement. The nominal fee is more of a symbolic victory.
What to watch for
One year ago, the US Capitol was under attack. Since then, more than 700 people have been charged with federal crimes, Donald Trump was impeached for a second time—a first in American history for a president—and all of America has had to reckon with the fragility of its institutions.
Today, Washington DC will be under high security, and the day’s agenda will include a discussion with historians and the testimonies of some of the Congress members who were in the building during the attack.
Mostly, the event will serve as a political opportunity, especially for Democrats. They will use the anniversary and its symbolism to highlight the role of the Republican party in fomenting the insurgency. The immediate goal is getting support for a law enshrining national voting rights protections (pdf), and getting hesitant Democratic senators (Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia) behind a vote to change the Senate’s filibuster rule.
Sony is planning to make electric cars
Ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, Sony announced plans to set up a new unit called Sony Mobility by spring 2022. The company also unveiled the Vision-S 02 SUV—a new version of its first prototype EV, which was first shown at CES two years ago. The car has been testing on European roads since the end of 2020.
Sony is hardly the first non-carmaker to experiment with vehicles. Here’s just a sampling of the companies getting in on the action:
⌚️ Back in 1994, timepiece company Swatch’s founder Nicolas Hayek birthed the idea for the quirky Smart Car, which Mercedes built.
🍎 Apple has been working on autonomous cars for seven years, poaching and losing key talent along the way.
📱 Huawei, whose phone business has been hit hard by US sanctions, is lending a technological hand to Chinese state-owned car company Changan.
Four shocks that could hurt the economy in 2022
Our latest field guide breaks down the “wildcards” that could mar the economic recovery this year. Start a 7-day free trial of membership to read it along with the entire field guide on the economy in 2022.
🚫 Emmanuel Macron wants to exclude the unvaccinated from almost everything
📝 Why setting lots of goals is better than having one big one
🇬🇧 Which Indians does the UK want?
⚔️ China’s new algorithm rules are at odds with its tech giants’ business models
🥩 Can the White House actually do anything about high meat prices?
💰 India is going after crypto taxes, starting with Binance-owned WazirX
Marriott hopes its NFTs will be the key to having a metaverse presence. Is it sadder to sit in a real hotel bar or a virtual one? Actually asking.
Celebrity worship is correlated with poorer cognitive performance. One doesn’t necessarily cause the other, but maybe it’s time to cull your parasocial relationships.
Google Street View helped nab one of Italy’s most wanted. The murderer was spotted in Spain, where he’d lived for 20 years.
BMW is working on a color-changing car. It uses electronic ink—the stuff that’s in your e-reader.
KFC is working on a game-changing nugget. The plant-based Beyond Meat product, which hits menus next week, will be the first of its kind sold by a major chicken purveyor.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, secret recipes from the Colonel, and hotel chain beer mats to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Annalisa Merelli, Ananya Bhattacharya, Alex Citrin-Safadi, Liz Webber, and Susan Howson.