The Week in Retrospect (Jan 26 – Feb 1)

This month ends with Apple’s record profit, a new richest man in China, Amazon’s new email service, succession concern for Singapore family businesses and Chinatown preparing for Chinese New Year in Singapore.

Apple’s first quarter gross profit margin soars to 39.9%: Thanks to tremendous demand for the iPhone, particularly in China, Apple reported record-breaking net profit of US$18bn in its fiscal first quarter.

Jack Ma no longer China’s richest: Just weeks after returning the crown of Asia’s richest to Hong Kong tycoon, Li Ka-shing, Jack Ma also got dethroned from China’s top spot by property magnate, Wang Jianlin as Alibaba’s shares posted an 8.8 percent tumble in New York on January 29. Weak sales have been cited as one of the reasons of the decline.

Amazon takes on Microsoft with business email: US online giant Amazon announced plans to offer a cloud-based email and calendar service to directly compete with Microsoft Outlook and others.

Study shows Singapore family businesses are unprepared for succession: The Economist Intelligence Unit has found that, despite the importance of succession planning in family businesses, only 58% in Singapore are prepared for the retirement of their current leaders. This is much lower than the 78% of Indonesian family businesses which have formal plans.

CNY decorations to light up Chinatown on January 31: To usher in the Year of Goat, Chinatown will shine brightly with the annual Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony on Saturday (Jan 31). This year’s celebrations will bring to life 338 goat-shaped lanterns, the most number of zodiac lanterns ever made, and also 1,500 gold coin lanterns.


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