In 2014, a group of university students in Beijing founded Ofo, a bike-sharing startup that let customers scan QR codes to rent bikes for short rides around cities, picking up and dropping off the bikes wherever they wished.

The convenience and ease of dockless bike shares spawned competing startups like Mobike and Bluegogo, with each brand distinguished by the bright colors of its bicycles. The bikes became ubiquitous on the streets and sidewalks of China’s biggest cities, and the startups attracted billions in investments, turning founders like Dai Wei, the CEO of Ofo, into celebrity entrepreneurs.

But four years later, at least five Chinese bike-share startups had gone bankrupt, and a Chinese court revealed in June 2019 that Ofo, the sector’s pioneer that was once valued at more than $2 billion, had “basically no assets” and was unable to pay the significant debts it owed to suppliers and customers.

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Say you walk into a hospital or other COVID vaccine distribution site. You qualify to get one because you’re a priority group under local regulations, and there are enough available doses around for you to get one. Which one would you actually receive?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already granted emergency authorization to two of them, one from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech and the other from Moderna. But you’re unlikely to know which one of those you’ll be getting.

This pandemic has had a unifying theme: Triage. You get the resources to who needs them most. You allocate such resources accordingly. That was the case with coronavirus testing at the start of the outbreak. Now it’s the case for one of the most complex immunization campaigns in history.

While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines share scientific roots, they’re still very different … Read more

Here we go again. You’d think that proliferation of direct listings and SPACs last year that enable founders, venture capitalists and big investors to take enterprises public their way would be loosening Wall Street’s grip on the IPOs––a longstanding bonanza for investment banks. But in 2020, 194 tradtional IPOs, the highest total since 2014, got done the old fashioned way, with the bankers frequently selling shares at bargain prices to their prized customers, who cleaned up from a parade of first day pops that resounded among the biggest ever. According to data posted by Jay Ritter of the University of Florida, an expert on IPOs, no fewer than 12 offerings in 2020 left $500 million or more “on the table.” In those dozen deals, the owners collected between half-a-billion and three-and-a-half billion dollars less than if they’d gotten the price where their shares settled at the close of the opening … Read more

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is threatening to withhold campaign funds from politicians who railed against approval of Joe Biden’s election victory, but it wouldn’t identify which ones, nor did it call for the ouster of President Donald Trump after last week’s insurrection at the Capitol.

The chamber, among the most powerful business groups in Washington, on Tuesday echoed much of corporate America, which has started to reject the violence and false claims of election fraud put forth by Trump and his allies.

Yet many business leaders have been cautious in their rebukes to not fully alienate Trump’s supporters, even though the president and other Republican leaders inspired the mob that invaded the building and killed a police officer. Four others, including one of the rioters who was shot by authorities, also died.

Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue said he didn’t think the invasion was a “full coup” attempt, but said … Read more

During the first three years of Donald Trump’s presidency, the economy did quite well. The unemployment rate hit a 50-year low, income growth doubled, and the economic expansion he inherited grew into the longest in American history.

But that all came to a shrieking halt when COVID-19 hit.

In a two-month period, February to April 2020, the unemployment rate soared to an 80-year high and the number of employed Americans fell from 152.5 million to 130.3 million. Those 22.2 million job losses set U.S. employment back to 1999 levels.

Since, the economy has moved from contraction to expansion and seen 12.3 million jobs return. However, it hasn’t been enough to offset the job losses that occurred during the pandemic.

That means that Trump will become the first post–World War II president to see employment fall during his presidency. It last occurred when Herbert Hoover left office in 1933 amid … Read more