On The Ground

Jonathan Moore: Bricks vs clicks? Successful companies can be both

Much has been written over the years about the "bricks versus clicks" retail strategies that brands need to consider with the advent of online and mobile technologies. It is rarely a simple choice of one over the other. Malls will remain a key sh...

  • Shijiazhuang's smog gives clues to widening disparities in China

    BEIJING -- This city of Shijiazhuang in China's Hebei Province is quickly becoming known for having some of the dirtiest air in the country. On Jan. 19, Shijiazhuang recorded a new record-high concentration of PM2.5 air pollution -- more than 50...

  • Chinese firms turn to robots to lure tech-savvy young workers

    TOKYO -- With soaring wages and a growing shortages of workers, China is widely predicted to become the world's largest user of industrial robots in 2015. Yet, simply replacing manual labor is not the sole purpose of introducing such robots. ...

  • Subprime sequel? Near-default stirs fears of China's shadow investments

    SHANGHAI -- A Chinese financial bomb was recently defused at the last moment, but many fear it is a matter of time until one of the nation's investment products goes boom. China's shadow banking sector -- made up of intermediaries that sell fi...

  • Japan carmakers still waiting for fallout from Abe's Yasukuni visit

    GUANGZHOU, China -- The visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the war-related Yasukuni Shrine on Dec. 26 last year has sparked considerable criticism from China, but it does not appear to have hurt Japanese companies operating there. Still, ...

  • Renovations turn Tokyo flophouse district into magnet for frugal tourists

    TOKYO -- When Tokyoites think of Sanya, they traditionally think of poverty. The district in the eastern part of the Japanese capital, was long known for its clusters of cheap rooming houses for day laborers. These days, the area is attracting a diff...

  • Chinese pick Japan as favorite travel destination

    DALIAN, China -- A survey conducted by U.S. travel information website operator Travelzoo shows that Japan is the most popular overseas travel destination in 2014 among its subscribers in mainland China, a jump from last year's ranking of 10th. T...

  • The marketing magic of Myanmar's monks

    YANGON -- The scramble for Myanmar has corporations in a bind: How do you get locals to part with their cash? Religion offers a clue. Willingness to donate money among Myanmarese is high. Corporation can capitalize on this, according to an offici...

  • Indonesia's mineral export ban met calmly by Japanese companies

    TOKYO -- Indonesia has started to enforce a ban on the exports of unprocessed ore. So far, Japanese mining and smelting companies are taking this move in stride, having stockpiled supplies in anticipation. The ban on exports of copper, nickel an...

  • It's a battle of the bowls at Singapore's Ramen Champion

    SINGAPORE -- Democracy has never tasted so good. At the Ramen Champion food court, made up of popular Japanese ramen shops, each bowl of noodles comes with a ballot. Customers are invited to vote for their favorite dish, and the least popular shops g...

  • Action on India's anti-gay law unlikely before election

    NEW DELHI -- The reinstatement of a 150-year-old law criminalizing gay sex is causing outrage among the Indian public. But with a general election scheduled for 2014, politicians may be unwilling to tackle the issue any time soon. The Indian...

  • All sold out at Ikea: "anti-government" stuffed animals

    HONG KONG -- A stuffed animal designed and sold by Ikea of Sweden has flown off store shelves in Hong Kong, where it has become a mouthy anti-government symbol. The animal is a wolf dressed in a red-and-white checked shirt and bluejeans. It ...

  • Wanted in Vietnam: production managers with a knack for craftsmanship

    HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnam has built itself into a manufacturing base, but some see a crack in the industrial foundation. The nation's factories, some say, are simply not nurturing enough leaders with the skills to effectively manage production and ...

  • Myanmar dilemma

    YANGON -- On November 22, the day after the Nikkei Asian Review rolled off the presses in Tokyo, we hosted a seminar and reception event in Yangon to mark the launch of the new English-language, pan-Asian website and journal. After dealing with the i...

  • Japan wary of winter spike in China's air pollution

    BEIJING -- As the winter cold sets in, levels of PM2.5 air pollution are likely to rise both in China and in neighboring countries such as Japan. On Friday, operation of the capital's coal-fueled centralized heating system was resumed. Beijing Ev...

  • Attacks turn spotlight on China's seething have-nots

    TAIYUAN, China --In a span of 10 days, two symbolic strongholds of the Communist Party of China came under attack in broad daylight. First, a car on Oct. 28 barged through barricades, plowed through tourists and burst into flames under Mao Zedong's p...

  • Political argy-bargy ups Indian onion prices

    MUMBAI -- Madras lovers watch out. Onion prices are soaring in India despite increased production. Unusual weather and potential political maneuvering are behind the rises. Onion production in the country is said to have quadrupled over the p...

  • Japanese-born monk fights to revive Buddhism in India

    NAGPUR, Maharashtra -- An elderly Japanese monk is trying to revive Buddhism in India and fight discrimination by winning over converts from Hinduism's lowest caste. In mid-October, 100 people gathered under a huge tent set up in Nagpur, in centr...