India's driverless cars; Xi in Hong Kong: Evening Briefing Asia
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At a secret testing track outside Bangalore, an arm of The Tata Group is recreating the jumble of India's roads to develop an autonomous driving system. They must account for pedestrians darting though traffic at will, multiple lanes that merge without warning, poor signage and stray cattle lingering on the side of the road. Even in the U.S., safety advocates are saying basic rules of the road are needed before lawmakers allow companies from Apple to Ford to dramatically expand testing of self-driving cars. And it's not just the roads where robots will do the driving. They're about to deliver cargo on the high seas as well, and operate forklifts. —Brent O'Brien
Xi Jinping's landmark trip to Hong Kong continues. China's president, who is on a three-day visit to mark 20 years of Chinese rule, sought to reassure a divided Hong Kong of the nation's continued support for the former British colony. "Hong Kong has always been in my heart," Xi said. Activists, meanwhile, called for protests to demonstrate the city's desire for greater democracy.
Apple's Tim Cook reaped $145 million last year. Don’t be fooled by Tim Cook’s 2016 reported pay of $8.75 million, which ranked the Apple chief executive officer in the bottom third of all CEOs in the S&P 500. Cook, 56, actually took home $145 million, almost all of it from awards granted back in 2011.
It's the largest land deal in China's history. China Vanke, one of the nation's biggest developers, just swooped in to scoop up land in the heart of Guangzhou, a giant southern city. The price tag: 55.1 billion yuan ($8.1 billion). Here are five things to know about the mega-transaction that came out of nowhere.
Donald Trump's administration has offered Taiwan a $1.3 billion weapons package. The arms sales would include early-warning surveillance radar, anti-radar air-launched missiles and naval torpedoes. While China objects to any arms sales to Taiwan, the proposal that the administration sent to Congress is smaller than many past deals and doesn't include advanced weapons Taiwan has sought, such as Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-35 fighter jet.
From success to bust in just 31 minutes. A hedge fund managed by Martin Shkreli in 2012 went from a roaring success to an empty shell, one of his investors told a jury. Sarah Hassan, 27, who gave Shkreli $300,000 to invest, said she got an email at 8:13 p.m. on September 9, 2012, saying she was up $135,000, a return of 45 percent. At 8:44 p.m., Shkreli sent out a second email notifying Hassan and other investors he was shutting the fund down.
Thailand's super-baht may be too strong for its own good. Two decades ago, Thailand became ground zero of the Asia financial crisis, when its government scrapped a dollar peg with the baht, a devaluation that unleashed a wave of speculative attacks on other regional currencies and shook the global economy. Now, the baht is again posing challenges for Thailand — but this time because it may be too strong.
The best restaurants in Singapore just got their Michelin stars. It was a good night for street food in the city — 20 out of 38 Michelin star awards went to Singapore's famed hawker stalls. At the other end of the spectrum, Joel Robuchon's restaurant remained the only venue in the city to win a three-star rating. Watch it Joel, the hawkers are coming.
With assistance from Editorial Board