Xiaomi – Cheap phones online may not be the key to success.

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Xiaomi, once hailed as an Apple iPhone slayer in China, now admits that they moved too fast to outpace their competitor. The company’s founder, Lei Jun, wrote his employees this week, indicating that the company needs to focus on the future and long-term sustainability. Questions: 1. Who are the domestic rivals to Xiaomi in the… Read more »

Japan Wants Its Overworked Citizens to Start Having Fun by Getting off of Work on the Weekends at an Earlier Time

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Japan is the country that coined the word “karoshi,” or death by overwork. Now it wants companies to let workers finish early on the last Friday of every month, go out and have some fun. Questions: 1. What will this government campaign be called and when does it start? 2. How is this move expected… Read more »

International students save the day at U.S. state universities

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Amid funding shortages, American colleges are turning to international students, who offer a lifeline to cash-strapped U.S. state schools. Questions: 1. How many international students were enrolled in U.S. Universities last year? 2. What percent increase have universities seen in the enrollment of international students since the 2005/2006 school year? 3. Discuss what is happening… Read more »

The Story behind Dirty Linen

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Major American retailers, including Target and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have been selling premium-priced sheets purportedly made of Egyptian cotton — a byword for luxury in linens. However, these may in reality be woven with lower-quality cotton blends. Questions: 1. Briefly discuss the suits seeking to be certified as class-actions against these actions. 2. Who is… Read more »

Sweet Dreams and Watch Out for those False Medical Claims!

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If you have been up late watching TV, you might have seen the Infomercial for a Minnesota company that sells My Pillow, a patented open-cell, poly-foam design created by inventor Michael J. Lindell. This staple of late-night TV infomercials has sold about 18 million pillows since 2005. However, a recent lawsuit successfully argued My Pillow… Read more »

Is this Fair?

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Since 2014, a Michigan law has limited Tesla Motors’ capacity to sell in the state, after the Republican-led legislature implemented a statute that banned the company’s only method of selling its cars to consumers. Questions: 1. What are the four states that Tesla has been shut out of? 2. Where did Tesla win its most… Read more »

Mylan Settles with the Government

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According to the New York Times, Mylan, the maker of the allergy treatment EpiPen, said Friday that it had reached a $465 million settlement with the Justice Department and other government agencies over questions on whether the company had overcharged Medicaid for the treatment by improperly classifying it as a generic drug. Questions: 1. What… Read more »

End of an Era

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A slice of Americana is about to “leave the stage.” For those of you who are too young to remember, Howard Johnson is not an old movie star. It was a bustling restaurant chain across the U.S. Sadly, the last of two remaining Howard Johnson restaurants will close on Sep. 6, making it the end… Read more »

CostCo Woes: Maybe or Maybe not?

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Costco started to transition from American Express to Visa as its exclusive credit card partner in June. As a result, delays and confusion have only gotten worse nearly two months later! Questions: 1. What were some of the biggest problems they faced? 2. Who is the issue of the new Costco Anywhere Visa and what… Read more »

Amazon and the 30 hour work week

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According to the Washington Post, the U.S. online retailer, Amazon, will try out teams that log 30-hour work weeks. But here is the catch: employees will receive the same benefits as those putting in 40-hour weeks, but get three-quarters of the pay. Questions: 1. Will this change be company-wide? 2. Last year the New York… Read more »