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April 11, 2022 briefing

Elon Musk
REUTERS/Mike Blake

Here’s what you need to know

Elon Musk suddenly changed his mind about joining Twitter’s board. Musk’s appointment was scheduled to begin on April 9, but according to CEO Parag Agrawal, he pulled out that same morning. The company’s shares fell.

Pakistan’s parliament elected a new prime minister. A vote of no confidence ended Imran Khan’s four-year tenure, with successor Shehbaz Sharif touting economic reform and diplomatic bridge-building with the US.

Joe Biden and Narendra Modi are scheduled to speak today. The two leaders are discussing India’s neutrality over Russia-Ukraine, as well as the usual filler about “strengthening the global economy.”

The war will shrink Ukraine’s economy by almost half, the World Bank warns. The bank also says the economic impact of the conflict on the wider region will be worse than the pandemic.

Shanghai is easing covid restrictions in parts of the city. But with authorities still pursuing a covid-zero strategy, despite few serious cases, 26 million people have faced food shortages.

Emmanuel Macron led the first round of France’s election. Centrist Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen face off in the second round on April 24.

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What to watch for

Image copyright: Reuters/Beawiharta

Indonesian payments and ride-hailing giant GoTo starts trading in Jakarta on Monday. The tech company, which has the backing of the likes of SoftBank and Alibaba, raised $1.1 billion through its IPO, one of the largest since the beginning of the year.

Here’s a look at the super app’s public debut, by the numbers.

$27.8 billion: GoTo’s valuation based on its IPO pricing

4%: Proportion of GoTo shares it’s selling, some of which it’s offering to merchants and drivers

2.5 million: Number of GoTo drivers

55 million:Annual number of users who make transactions on the app

$1 billion: Revenue in the 12 months through September

$330 billion: Expected size of Indonesia’s digital economy by 2030, five times larger than in 2021

Twitter x Elon

Image copyright: Amanda Shendruk

Although he’s no longer joining the board of Twitter, its largest individual shareholder Elon Musk has been publicly ruminating on changes to the social media platform.

Suggestions from the SpaceX and Tesla CEO range from the serious—lowering the price of Twitter’s subscription offering, Twitter Blue—to the strange (and misogynistic)—changing the company’s name to “Titter”.

Quartz visual journalist Amanda Shendruk mocked up what Twitter could look like if Musk’s polls and ponderings get a pass from his fellow board members. Take a look at the suggestions.

Markets haiku: Gogoro lost its charge

Image copyright: Reuters/Tyrone Siu
Scoot over

Swapping batteries—
Gogoro had that on lock.
At least it thought so.

Shares for Gogoro, the Taiwanese “Tesla of scooters” that’s fresh off its Nasdaq debut, were down more than 25% on Monday after some of Japan’s biggest motorbike companies announced a new battery-swapping program for bikes. It looks a lot like Gogoro’s.

Our reliance on natural gas

Europe is the hottest new market for liquified natural gas exporters, but it wasn’t supposed to be. ✦ Quartz’s latest Weekend Brief drilled into why we just can’t quit natural gas and how the war in Ukraine is locking in LNG reliance. Members get exclusive access to the Weekend Brief. Support journalism that seeks to make business better by subscribing today.

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Space pollution is complicating research—and wish-making. One out of every 15 points of light in the night sky will likely be a satellite within the decade.

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