DINNER PARTY INTEL: China putting a stop to ‘social offences’
1. Aloof government
Unilever CEO Paul Polman’s "icy" relations with UK prime minister Theresa May might have helped push the company to scrap its London headquarters and make Rotterdam its legal home. The Financial Times says CEOs have found it impossible to organise face time or phone calls with May, even in moments of crisis. And for Unilever, the deterioration in relations with the government coincided with its hostile takeover bid from Kraft Heinz.
Unilever publicly says its choice was not linked to Brexit and that it would simplify its structure. But the Financial Times quotes Polman saying: "I discovered that I had to unfortunately explain to people in the government what the impact was [on] a company like this."
2. China putting a stop to ‘social offences’
China will apply a "social credit system" to flights and trains and could even stop people who commit misdeeds from using such transport for up to a year.
Reuters reports that the system will apply to people found to have spread false information about terrorism and caused trouble on flights, as well as those who have used expired tickets or smoked on trains. Employers who fail to pay social insurance or people who don’t pay fines will also face these restrictions.
3. Vote of confidence?
The Financial Mail reported last week that the SA Reserve Bank is testing a platform used by cryptocurrencies for interbank clearing and settlements. But would SA authorities ever use technology such as blockchain as the backbone of national elections?
Sierra Leone has become the first country to do just that. Its March 7 election used a blockchain solution to tally votes. The process can reduce voting costs by cutting out ballot papers, and can prevent corruption.