Johanna Hoopes

Johanna Hoopes

Posts by This Writer

10 years 6 months ago

As China’s economy grows leaps and bounds by the minute, multinational banks in China are encountering new opportunities and obstacles. While foreign firms generally site the strict regulations and staffing issues as the most difficult part of doing business in China, they are now running up against growing domestic competitors.

In its fifth annual survey of foreign banks in China, PricewaterhouseCoopers ranks the obstacles to doing business in China based on interviews with CEOs, senior executives and branch managers of 42 foreign banks in China. This...


10 years 7 months ago

Hundreds of people visit Unilever’s Concept Centre in Shanghai every day. Visitors can get their hair done at a salon. There is a living room and a bed called the “chatting room” where they can relax, as well as a shop where they can try the company’s newest products. While they go about their business, these human guinea pigs are being discreetly observed from behind one way mirrors.

Concept Centre is just part of Unilever’s growing consumer research initiative in China, where it is trying to catch up to its nemesis, Proctor & Gamble. Just outside the city, in a huge...


10 years 7 months ago

Twitter may have 106 million registered users. But can it make money? That question has plagued the microblogging service since its inception over three years ago.

On April 13th the company revealed a much anticipated advertising campaign that aims to make big bucks for the blogging service. The company needs cash to take it to the next level. So far, the hugely successful service has focused on funding from venture capitalists, instead of pinching profits from its massive audience. The trick will be to show that its valuation is valid, while protecting its network of over 100,000...


10 years 7 months ago

Sales of China’s passenger cars have jumped 63 percent from the year before, as manufacturers scramble to keep up with high demand driven by tax cuts and and government subsidies. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, passenger car sales rose to 1.26 million automobiles in March. The projections show sustained growth for auto manufacturers in a market that is still rebounding from slowed sales in late 2008-2009 while the government pumped hundreds of billions of renminbi into the economy.

Many consumers in China are still buying their first cars, and demand for...


10 years 7 months ago

South Africa projected that the world’s most-watched sporting event would attract 450,000 international spectators from around the world. The World Cup was supposed to create jobs for one in four unemployed workers, and increase economic growth and development. The government has invested over 34 billion rand ($4.6 billion) to host the World Cup, constructing 10 world-class stadiums and other infrastructure. Now it just needs fans.

Three months before the June 11th start date, only 100,000 international airline tickets have been sold. The visitor estimate has been cut to 350,000 and the expected...


10 years 8 months ago

Ghana is Africa’s second largest gold producer, second only to South Africa, and the ninth largest in the world. Enticed by record prices for the precious commodity, multinational mining firms are digging huge open pits in its resource rich countryside.  The Gold Coast is taking steps to protecting its valuable environmental wealth and its workers, in addition to taking a cut of the profits.

Ghana’s parliament has voted to increase royalties from 3% to 5%, although the bill has not yet been ratified by Ghana’s president. The most obvious reason for the increase is its scary budget deficit...


10 years 8 months ago

On Tuesday, Asian stock markets closed with mixed results.  The yuan rose to its highest peak in three months, extending a two week rally fueled by rebounding U.S. economic date and a thaw in Sino-U.S. tensions over the pegged yuan.  While the Australian dollar seems likely to continue gaining ground, Japan’s Nikkei struggled to maintain momentum after successive highs over the past week. The overall trend indicates that financial recovery is underway and in some cases the market is even a bit overstretched.  Analysts have their fingers crosses that market fluctuations will continue...


10 years 8 months ago

Being from Boston, I would argue that the city is one of the greatest in the nations in spectator sports. I am sure that Yankees fans would beg to differ. Sports cities nationwide are economically primed and ready for investment in professional teams. Others that currently host a major-league sports franchise are way overextended. Are professional sports a drain on public resources or a pump for economic growth and urban development?

A recent study on portfolio.com shares the results on America’s most viable sports markets. The study analyzes 82 markets in the United States and Canada...


10 years 8 months ago

As an entrepreneur living in Shanghai, I am well aware of the rules of the game. When doing business here, you are doing business with the Chinese government. If you don’t want to follow the rules, you can take your business elsewhere. And that is what Google did. Does Google’s bold move mean that other multinationals will follow in suit? Certainly not.

Business as usual will continue in the Middle Kingdom. While Google’s direct suppliers are scrambling for new partners, the bigger players are finding plenty of opportunities...


10 years 8 months ago

The New York Times this morning reported that the Social Security Administration will dole out more in benefits this year than it will receive in payroll taxes. Policymakers thought they had until 2016 before they had to deal with this impending issue. The weak economy has brought it to the front burner because jobs disappeared and retirees applied for benefits sooner than they had anticipated. With fewer paychecks to tax, Society Security went into the red.

For small businesses, this issue hits...


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