• Shopping Centers

    After all the (dubious, a few would say) talk that after the pandemic shopping was going to be completely changed (paradigm) and no one would go to stores anymore, some have noted that it was that very pandemic that showed that retail shops had their place.

    Unable to buy needed items online due to shortages, people went to local stores, particularly shopping centers. Also because they felt they needed to get out of the house. Curbside pickup developed, so going into stores was not necessary. Stores looked again at investing in their trucking. Companies have focused on eCom for 15 years and are now looking again at their store fleets. (Pricing power to landlords, resulting in higher earnings and dividends for them.) Stores realized the bulk of their sales still come from traditional shopping centers or malls.

    Also, many people moved out of the city. A trend towards living in homes. In those areas, the main shopping destination is large shopping centers, malls. Going to shopping centers was like the only 'acceptable' place to go during lockdown.

    The US is over-retailed. The big shopping centers consolidate their power, while some malls do flag.

  • NFLX down like 40% in a day after reporting losing 200k customers

    It expects to lose 2m this year. It has like 220m though.

    Reasons: saturation in US (has like 90% of that market), competition with other streaming services (like Disney which is what anyone with kids maybe pays for). Cutting off Russia cost around 700m subscribers. Musk said wokeness was making shows unwatchable.

    Netflix is considering running ads (doesn't now) and not allowing password sharing.

  • Lobola (bride price) is now mandatory in Uganda

    ... with a clause empowering marriage officers to find out whether a bride price was paid. 

  • Chinese govt erases rich actress from internet

    Zhao Wei fled to France.

    From News.au:

    On Friday, Beijing’s Cyberspace Administration agency issued a set of instructions to social media and internet operators aimed at “rectifying issues” with fan communities.

    The purpose was to ensure “political and ideological safety in the cyberspace as well as creating a clean internet”.

    Celebrities can no longer be ranked in order of popularity.

    Talent agencies must submit themselves to Communist Party oversight.

    Fan clubs must be licenced and officially authorised.

    Any disagreement between fans of different high-profile personalities must immediately be censored.

    The regulatory crackdown follows the publication of a policy guideline, Implementation Outline for the Establishment of a Rule of Law-Based Society, which mandates the establishment of “moral norms” as “legal norms”.

    China is reportedly banning stars who are considered immoral. Zhao has been in various scandals over the years. She has also been in conflict with the CCP for her friendly relations with Taiwan and Japan, it seems.

    She was accused of tax evasion Friday. If she pays the $A63m fine, she might be able to return to normal life in China.

  • Assange case: Bit of progress for US gov side

    Many are heartbroken.

    Last January a London court (Judge Baraitser) ruled he couldn't be extradited to the US over concerns of 'risk of suicide' (and some mental health concerns) while not opposing the US gov on the more central political issue.

    In the US's appeal, now Britain's High Court has granted permission to the US to expand their grounds for appealing the decision to not send Assange to the US.

    Next trail date is Oct 29.

    APnews: US granted more grounds to appeal on Assange extradition  
  • Historical 'revisionism' in China, CCP anniversary

    China's Communist Party marked it's 100th anniversary, and Xi made a big speech, using quite marshal language and stating China wouldn't be pushed around by foreign powers.

    China is practicing 'historical nihilism,' according to China Centre (Oxford U) Director Rana Mitter, revisionism in which the communist political movement started with a handful of guys in the 1920's, and then some stuff happened which was necessary or inevitable, and then they are where they are now.

    The take is that before Communism, China was being buffeted by various foreign factors like Western imperialism and the 'Century of Humiliation,' Opium Wars, Japanese invasion in the 1920s; and the CCP is the final vehicle of destiny that allowed China to stand up for itself.

    He said that in China you can't mention the Great Leap Forward of the 1950s (where 10's of millions died), and that the Cultural Revolution, although more complex, can be talked about in China but you have to be careful which parts you talk about.