"Can AI give me that?”

MRD_TW July 2018.png

"Can AI give me that?”

Marc Ross Daily
July 31, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

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✔️ How Silicon Valley became a den of spies

✔️ The untold story of Otto Warmbier

✔️ Mexico’s new president will take a pay cut

✔️ Election 2018 is 98 days away

✔️ Starbucks is partnering with Alibaba to deliver drinks


America’s CEOs need to do more to reverse US-China trend

If negative views of a company increased by 26 percentage points over a decade, the chief executive officer of said company would have a major problem.

In fact, that CEO would probably be asked to leave.

Sadly, when it comes to US-China relations no one seems to care, and no one has been asked to leave.

In the United States, negative views of China have increased by 26 percentage points between 2006 and 2016. And American negativity toward China has been higher than Chinese negativity toward the United States in every year since 2014.

A January 2017 Pew Research survey of Americans found that 65 percent of respondents said China is either an adversary (22 percent) or a serious problem (43 percent), while only about a third (31 percent) said China is not an issue.

And in a separate Spring 2016 survey by Pew Research, a majority (55 percent) of Americans held an unfavorable opinion of what more and more Americans see as their largest Asian rival.

This is the public affairs reality that the CEO leadership of America’s blue-chip multinational companies are facing right now.

One of their largest and most promising markets is seen domestically as the home of an adversary power that allows fertile ground for politicians supporting protectionist policies and trade halting tariffs on Capitol Hill. Actions that if successfully passed would force Beijing to respond with retaliatory trade tactics from less investment here to increased limits stifling full access to the growing Chinese consumer marketplace for American farmers and exporters.

However, in the cozy and elite world of U.S.-China commercial relations where most of the work takes place in posh hotels and big chair summits, the deterioration of the way Americans see China seems to have escaped the captains of industry. Boardrooms across the nation continue to operate as if all is smooth and satisfactory.

It is time for those that care about a productive and engaged US-China commercial relationship to take these polls seriously and engage Americans in Main Street coffee shops and at picnic tables for backyard summer BBQs.


How Silicon Valley became a den of spies: Politico reports, the West Coast is a growing target of foreign espionage. And it’s not ready to fight back. 

Taiwan had 28 allies in 1990 and today just 17 countries (plus the Vatican) have diplomatic relations with the island state.

Reuters: China urges US not to allow stopover by Taiwan president

Cambodian leader Hun Sen extended his 33-year grip on power, easily winning a boycotted election after he banned the main opposition party last year.

The untold story of Otto Warmbier, American hostage: Trump hailed him as a catalyst of the summit with Kim Jong-Un. But what happened to Warmbier—the American college student who was sent home brain-damaged from North Korea—is even more shocking than anyone knew. http://bit.ly/2v2vD2q

Artificial intelligence, immune to fear or favor, is helping to make China’s foreign policy: SCMP reports, the programme draws on a huge amount of data, with information ranging from cocktail-party gossip to images taken by spy satellites, to contribute to strategies in Chinese diplomacy.

Trump, once a hero in China, is now seen as erratic and unreliable: LAT reports, in 2016, after Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for president, social media in China embraced him with tribute pages including the “Trump Fan Club” and “Great Man Donald Trump.” But those pages no longer see much activity. Remarks about Trump on Chinese social media — one of the only gauges of public sentiment in a country with limited opinion polling — have taken a sharply negative turn.

Reuters: China shows foreign investors carrot and big stick

China plans tighter controls on foreign acquisitions: FT reports, foreigners seeking “strategic” stakes in listed Chinese companies could face broader national security reviews under new rules drafted by China’s commerce ministry, a sign Beijing is preparing to hit back at western efforts to curb Chinese acquisitions of sensitive technologies. The proposed amendments to existing investment rules, published on Monday, expand the universe of foreign investments covered by China’s formal national security review process.

Reuters: Australia, Japan join US infrastructure push in Asia

WSJ: China’s total investment in US falls

"China’s total direct investment position fell to $39.5 billion in 2017 from $40.4 billion the year before"

LA mayor to strengthen China ties despite trade jitters: FT reports, Eric Garcetti says it is vital for local US leaders to reach out to key investment partners.

North Korea is working on new missiles, US spy agencies say: WP reports, the new intelligence shows that work on advanced weapons is continuing six weeks after President Trump declared in a tweet that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat.” The reports come after recent revelations about a suspected uranium enrichment facility that North Korea is operating in secret.

Mark Carney is preparing for Brexit and the next crisis: Bloomberg reports, what it's like to be the UK's central bank chief as Britain negotiates its traumatic exit from the EU.

Brexit plans raise fears over food shortages and ports: NYT reports, efforts to prepare for the possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit have backfired by drawing attention to the extreme consequences Britain might face.

Mexico’s new president will take a pay cut. That means cuts for others: WSJ reports, a plan by President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador to slash top government salaries threatens to gut the brain trust at institutions that have played pivotal roles in stabilizing Mexico’s economy for decades.

Zimbabwe: The first official results expected after the Zimbabwe presidential and parliamentary elections.


Today: Paul Manafort faces charges of bank fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy. A dozen charges center on his work as a highly paid advisor to the Russian-backed government in Ukraine, but the conspiracy continued through the Trump campaign, prosecutors allege. This trial begins today and is the first of two that Manafort faces this year. In September, he is set to appear in federal court in Washington on charges that include acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. 

WP: From six homes to a city jail: Paul Manafort, who redefined lobbying, faces trial

Manafort is the first American who has been charged as part of Mueller’s probe to go to trial instead of taking a plea deal.

CBS News poll finds that 70 percent of Republicans agree with Trump’s characterization of the Russia probe as a “witch hunt.”

Road trip Moscow: White House said Trump is “open to visiting Moscow” as Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Friday. 

Tariffs once tore the GOP apart—and may be doing so again: It’s only a matter of time before rural voters again learn what their forebears knew: Protectionist policies are rigged against them. http://bit.ly/2NUW6G4

Trump is over-promising to farmers as his administration looks primed to under-deliver. 

WP: Donald Trump has been wrong on trade for 30 years https://wapo.st/2NWOcvI

"We didn't need a trade war with Japan in the 1980s. We don't need one with China today." 

If you were afraid of Japan in the 80s, you are going to be totally freaked out by China in the 10s.

Misplaced nostalgia, emotion, and feel good policies is no way to manage and lead a global economy.

Enjoy the ride.

Trump administration considers tax cut for the wealthy: WP reports, he president’s top advisers are debating a plan to reduce capital gains taxes without congressional approval. The use of executive power on such a significant change to the tax law would be highly unusual and could be vulnerable to a legal challenge.

Today: Trump will attend a campaign rally in Tampa.

Election 2018 House: "For the Democrats to take an even one-seat edge in the new House, they would have to win a clear majority in 38 of his toss-up or lean D districts where any Democratic candidate has won only four times in the aggregate 114 elections since these seats were created in their current configurations from the 2011 redistricting process." -- Jim Ellis

OH-12 special election should provide clues to 2018 outcome http://bit.ly/2LZl3j3

The August 7 contest, vacated by Republican Pat Tiberi when he left to head the Ohio Business Roundtable, has all the makings of a bellwether-esque race in one of the most bellwether states in the nation.

Election 2018 spending: Ringing in at over $1 billion in ad spending, it will likely be the most expensive midterm election cycle in history.

Election 2018 is 98 days away.

Enjoy the ride.

In a new book, Bob Woodward plans to reveal the ‘harrowing life’ inside President Trump’s White House: WP reports, until now, the veteran journalist’s upcoming publication of “Fear” was a closely held Washington secret.

Politico: ‘The map is different now’: Trump blows the 2020 race wide open

"The next presidential campaign is going to be fought on unfamiliar battlegrounds."

"Trump’s sweep through the upper Midwest and the demographic shifts powering Democrats in the South and West, the field of competitive states stands to be dramatically reshaped in 2020."

"Minnesota, which hasn’t gone for Republican for president in nearly a half-century, suddenly rates high on the GOP wish list. Arizona and Georgia, until recent years considered red-state locks, are undeniably within Democratic reach."

LAT: Kamala Harris' challenge in a 2020 presidential bid? Defining herself before her opponents do

Right stuff: LAT reports, NASA will announce Friday which astronauts will ride in which capsules for the first crewed test flights of what’s known as the commercial crew program. SpaceX and Boeing each built one of the capsules, which are scheduled to launch for the first time without crew next month, though industry analysts say that date will be pushed back.

Ahead of Asia trip, business lobby gives Pompeo an earful on trade war: NYT reports, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged on Monday to ramp up the Trump administration’s diplomatic engagement with Asia in a speech that followed a blistering attack on the president’s trade policies by a usually stalwart Republican business ally. Thomas J. Donohue, the longtime US Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive, introduced Mr. Pompeo at an Indo-Pacific business forum by criticizing protectionist trade measures that he said led to both the Great Depression and World War II. 

Nikkei: US answers Belt and Road with own Indo-Pacific investment plan


Mattel is slashing more than 2,200 jobs — about 22% of its global non-manufacturing workforce — and selling two Mexico factories. The El Segundo, CA-based toy maker of the iconic Barbie doll has struggled in recent years as kids play has moved digital.

Amazon is developing a new smartphone and UI.

Scootbee aims to produce the world's first on-demand, self-driving scooter; a user can summon a three-wheeled scooter with an app.

Yet, still no cure for cancer.

Yellow taxis engaged: New York City could become the first major US city to cap the number of vehicles driving for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing companies

Reuters: Walmart discovers why the 'last mile' is the hardest

GVC Holdings partners with MGM Resorts to establish an online-gambling venture in the US.

McDonald's is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac.

Walgreens is delving further into medical services with a goal to become a single-stop destination for all kinds of health matters.

ALDI will open five new stores across New Jersey by the end of the year.

BMW will raise the prices of two SC-made SUVs it sells in China.

Facebook handed over nearly $120 billion in market value (a loss roughly 7.5x the size of Snap, if you're keeping score) after execs tempered revenue expectations. 

T-Mobile signed a $3.5 billion deal with Nokia to build fifth-generation wireless network gear for the mobile carrier, the world's largest 5G deal to date.

Starbucks is partnering with Alibaba to deliver drinks and snacks through online food delivery platform Ele.me.

Zara is equipping its stores to also ship online purchases.


Biz trip for work and fun: Business and leisure travel are becoming increasingly blurred.

SoCal housing: The Southern California median home price reached a new all-time high of $536,250 in June, jumping 7.3% from a year earlier. 

QOTD: "True joy is about improv and odd twists and turns, about hilarious errors and imperfections. Can AI give me that?” -- Tom Peters

The ordinary license plate’s days may be numbered: NYT reports, several companies are applying digital technology to what has long been just a slab of metal, in hopes of making it cheaper to update your vehicle’s registration — and turning it into a portal to the connected world. “This is not about a license plate,” Reviver’s chief executive, Neville Boston, said. “It’s about connection. With a digital plate, you can be all connected in just one place.”


My summer allergy: children in the city: Nathan Brooker writes, London is home to more than 1.5m people under the age of 12. During the holidays, it feels like 15m. https://on.ft.com/2Ke3fyP

Mars is closer to Earth than it's been in 15 years.

HBD: JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, 53


Why competitive gaming is starting to look a lot like professional sportshttp://bit.ly/2NXqRdD

"As e-sports continue to chase mainstream popularity, traditional sports organizations have steadily joined the ranks. Now, some of the biggest professional e-sports leagues in the world are starting to look a lot like the NBA or NFL. That includes big-money owners, a structured schedule, and things like minimum salaries and other benefits for players."

HBD: Antonio Conte, footballer, Italy (1994-2000), manager of Chelsea FC (2016-July 12, 2018), 49

The Times: Chelsea want to make Kanté £290k top earner

LeBron James is moving on, but his new school ensures his legacy in Ohio
: WP reports, James, who left the Cavaliers to join the Lakers this summer, opened a new school for underprivileged children in Akron, calling it perhaps the greatest day of his life.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.