September 30th, 2011
07:04 AM GMT
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(CNN) – In the world of wealthy women, China is leading the way.

Of 28 self-made female billionaires around the world, 18 came from China, according to a recent report compiled by Hurun Report ranking China’s wealthy.

Hurun reported that of the top 10 self-made female billionaires in the world, seven are Chinese. U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey barely made the top ten, with her $2.7 billion fortune putting her as the 8th richest self-made woman in the world. Rosalia Mera of Spain’s fashion powerhouse Zara came in third, with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Benetton clothing’s Guiliana Benetton’s $2.5 billion fortune put her at number 10, according to Hurun.
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September 30th, 2011
05:28 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – A senior government official says China’s total number of Internet users is now more than 500 million people, state media reported.

That’s more than 60% higher than the entire population of the U.S., where much of the Internet infrastructure was first developed and home to the giants of the industry such as Google, Facebook and  Youtube –  sites whose services are largely blocked in the world’s largest Internet market.

Wang Chen, chief of the State Council Information Office (SCIO), said in his keynote speech at the UK-China Internet Roundtable that the world’s most populous nation now has nearly 40% of its 1.3 billion population online. SCIO is a ministry-level government agency which oversees media and Internet issues in China. FULL POST

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Filed under: ChinaTechnology


September 30th, 2011
03:25 AM GMT
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Social entrepreneurship has taken off in Cambodia where those looking to bring social change to the country are increasingly finding such rewards in the path to profits.

A boutique in Phnom Penh trains HIV-positive women to hand-craft fashion, while an organic rice farm has improved the yield and livelihood of the farmer. Both ventures illustrate that the key to a better Cambodia comes from embracing a more enlightened market-based model.

Filed under: BusinessOutlook Cambodia


September 29th, 2011
03:10 AM GMT
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New York (CNN) – Amazon didn't just light a fire to the tech world Wednesday, it threw out an atom bomb –  a tablet for $199, less than half the price of the cheapest iPad. Not only that, CEO Jeff Bezos also announced a new line-up of better, cheaper Kindles ranging from $149 for a 3G Kindle Touch to $79 for the most basic model (versions without ads are slightly more).

When those prices were unveiled at the press event in New York, the jaws of even the most skeptical tech journalists dropped. FULL POST



September 29th, 2011
02:41 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - Chile and Venezuela, two countries in the opposite of the South American political spectrum, have something in common: both are interested in the Chinese yuan, or renminbi.

With the growing clout of the world’s second largest economy and the slow but constant strengthening of its currency, the yuan is an increasingly attractive choice for reserve currency. While there currently are restrictions in its transactions, the two South American countries lead the flight from the U.S. dollar in the region.

In its latest monetary policy report, the Chilean central bank introduced a new item in its balance sheet with the appearance of $91 million of the country's reserves in yuan. It's a first exploratory step, according to high-level officials from the country. "It's about 0.3% of the international reserves," bank officials said in an e-mail to CNN. Still, plans are afoot in Chile to increase its Chinese currency holdings, bank officials said. FULL POST

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September 29th, 2011
02:02 AM GMT
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) – The hunt for heat is part of the lure of many Asian cuisines. China has its addictive, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn. Thailand has the "do I dare" burn of the bird's eye chili.

In Cambodia, heat comes in the form of a Kampot peppercorn, tiny but bursting with spice and an additional depth that ranges from citrus to nutty.

Grown in the Kampot province in Southern Cambodia, this special pepper reached its hey-day in the mid-20th century, when chefs in Europe prized its unique strength and flavor.

The pepper disappeared off the world stage though in the 1970s, when the destructive Khmer Rouge regime isolated Cambodia from the outside world. Farmers neglected their pepper fields and exports from Cambodia were cut off. FULL POST

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Filed under: BusinessOutlook Cambodia


September 28th, 2011
06:27 AM GMT
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Labor costs in Cambodia are cheaper than China, Vietnam or Thailand. That has helped foreign companies like U.S. stuffed toy maker "First & Main" stay profitable, but the biggest challenge for many businesses is finding an educated workforce for more skilled jobs.

Can Cambodia’s education system keep pace with the ambitions of businesses and investors and continue to foster a growing middle class?

Filed under: Outlook Cambodia


September 28th, 2011
05:36 AM GMT
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New Delhi (CNN) - Every morning for almost four years I have been serenaded by the sounds of annoying beeps emanating from my phone. Once started, it continued sporadically through the day and increased as it got dark. Of course you are probably familiar with the sound I’m referring to: The pinging tones of a cell phone’s short message service (otherwise known as an SMS, or text).

In my case on my phone it isn’t an urgent message from the office, friends or family (sigh): instead they are a multitude of solicitations trying to help me speak to “d” public or “increase my height” with new “Japanese technology” now available in India. Never mind those companies are marketing to the wrong person: I’m close to 6-feet tall and I speak to the public all the time as a part of my work as a correspondent.

There were many others that are too boring to mention, but suffice it to say none of them were even remotely useful. I wouldn’t take what they were offering even if it was free so there was no way they were going to find a customer in me. I counted the number of unwanted SMS solicitations for a week and it came to an average of 12 per day. That does not include the unwanted solicitation calls I get.
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September 28th, 2011
05:20 AM GMT
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(CNN) – As fears of a euro meltdown continue apace, a guerrilla war of Post-it note art has broken out in office spaces across corporate Paris.

The first shot was fired four months ago, when employees at French computer gaming company  Ubisoft  – maker of the popular  "Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell"  and  "Ghost Recon"  game series – put up a Post-it note image from the 1980s classic “Space Invaders” on the window.

“We stuck Space Invader character on our window and the day after, BNP (Paribas), which is the largest bank in France, just across the way, they drew a Pac-Man,” Fabrice Cambonet of  Ubisoft told CNN.

La guerre des Post-it (the Post-it wars) was on.
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Filed under: BusinessQuest Means Business


September 27th, 2011
07:06 AM GMT
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(CNN) – For decades, the economic wisdom has been that lower trade barriers create better wealth for both parties.

Outsourcing low-skilled, low-wage jobs to an India or Mexico helps those developing economies, while that loss of industry in a developed economy like the United States is more than offset by lower product costs and an employee talent pool that finds work higher up the economic food chain. Everybody wins.

A new study, however, suggests that when it comes to China, the economic benefit to the U.S. may be less than previously thought.
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