Topics to impress this week.

1. Shopping bonanza

Picture: REUTERS/CHANCE CHAN
Picture: REUTERS/CHANCE CHAN

E-commerce giant Alibaba’s Singles’ Day generated a whopping US$25.3bn in sales. The November 11 shopping festival set a record of 325,000 orders a second and involved the delivery of 777m packages. About 90% of the transactions were done via mobile.

Single’s Day started in 2009 as a day for Chinese people who didn’t have partners to buy presents for each other or themselves. The Chinese believe the date (11-11) is significant because it looks like "bare branches", a local expression for the unattached.

To create a buzz, the company hosted a star-studded gala with actress Nicole Kidman and American rapper Pharrell Williams.

2. New Delhi choked by smog

Indian capital New Delhi, whose air quality is ranked among the world’s worst, has been enveloped in a dense cloud of toxic smog 10 times the recommended limit. Over the past two weeks, government officials have struggled to tackle the public health crisis that has ensued. The smog has caused people to line up at hospitals with ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and allergies.

The Delhi state government blames the yearly phenomenon on a combination of illegal crop burning, vehicle emissions and dust. The use of fire trucks to spray water in parts of the capital has had little effect.

3. Broadcom’s $103bn takeover bid spurned

Mobile chip maker Qualcomm has rejected rival Broadcom’s $103bn acquisition offer. Broadcom’s takeover of Qualcomm would have reshaped the chip-making industry, transforming the company into the third-largest semiconductor maker after Intel and Samsung Electronics. Qualcomm said the deal represented an "opportunistic" move by Broadcom to buy it on the "cheap".

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan offered $70/share in cash and stock for Qualcomm on November 6. The firm wants to be the dominant supplier of smartphone chips.

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