The DailyBrief

Tuesday April 18, 2017

China, more growth: Beijing’s economic growth accelerated for the second straight quarter and again beat expectations, reports Steve Wang & Ben Richardson. Growth in manufacturing and core productive industries accelerated from the final quarter of 2016 to 6.4%, the fastest clip in nine quarters, with state-owned enterprises the key driver behind the latest recovery.

VietJet’s bikini marketing: Nguyen Phuong Thao, CEO of VietJet and Vietnam’s first woman US dollar billionaire, has risen to the top of this male-dominated society by mixing a global vision with risqué sex appeal. Ma Nguyen writes that Thao denies the strategy of dressing female cabin crew in swimwear, replete with pre-flight dances for passengers, is an exploitative stunt, saying: “whatever brings happiness to our customers, that makes us happy.”

China’s Brexit train: When the so-called ‘Silk Road’ train left a Brexit-bruised London for China last week it demonstrated, according to the British government, the huge global demand for quality UK goods. But, asks Richard Cook , is its cargo, of whisky, soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products, really a recipe for renewed global greatness?

Slow lane Jakarta: The Indonesian capital was ranked the world’s most congested city, according to data that showed Jakarta motorists made 33,240 stop-starts a year, more than Istanbul (32,520), Mexico City (30,840) and Bangkok (27,480). John McBeth reports that widespread downtown train construction, intended to ease the capital’s epic traffic jams that already cost the economy US$3.4 billion per year, means the issue will get worse before it gets better.