December 4, 2022

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The Kremlin has sought to allay concerns in Russian society over President Vladimir Putin’s decision to mobilize the army’s reserves by denying reports that it has decided to close the border or introduce martial law.

Panic over Putin’s mobilization order — which has affected a much larger proportion of the male population than the president said it qualified for conscription — continued to fuel protests and push people to flee across the few remaining open borders.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that “no decisions have been made” on martial law or border closures, according to state news wire RIA Novosti.

Images of busy airports and long lines of cars at Russia’s land borders have undermined what the Kremlin sees as a widely accepted measure.

The FSB, Russia’s main security agency, said it has sent an armored personnel carrier to the border with Georgia, where the longest queue to leave Russia has formed, to prevent Russian reservists from leaving the country without going through passport control. according to news channel RBC. .

Lawyers and activists have reported that border guards in some regions are denying entry to men because they qualify for mobilization.

Peskov admitted that some regions called in people who did not meet the Russian requirements to be considered for the design, but insisted that “cases of deviation from the required criteria be resolved”.

  • Military briefing: Putin’s ‘partial’ mobilization of 300,000 men for his war in Ukraine faces training and logistical obstacles, reports Europe editor Ben Hall.

  • Opinion: Foreign affairs chief Gideon Rachman argues that Putin’s nuclear threats against Ukraine cannot be ignored.

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Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of today’s news — Amanda

1. Elon Musk Offers Iranians Uncensored Internet Access Musk’s Starlink has activated its satellite broadband service in Iran amid deadly protests. The activation follows easing of US State Department sanctions that had prevented internet services and communications networks from operating in Iran.

SpaceX rocket with Starlink internet satellites lifts off from Cape Canaveral in Florida

A SpaceX rocket carrying Starlink internet satellites lifts off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Starlink is the first in a new generation of satellite networks operating in low Earth orbit © AP

2. Apple moves iPhone production out of China Apple has started production of its iPhone 14 model in South India. The company is working to diversify supply chains from China as tensions between Washington and Beijing mount. China’s harsh pandemic measures have also disrupted business.

3. UK tax cuts increase global recession risk, says Fed official A top US central bank official warned that the UK’s new fiscal plan has increased economic uncertainty and increased the likelihood of a global recession. The warning comes as the pound is at a record low against the dollar after investors reacted to UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s £45 billion tax cut package.

4. Investors Rush to Capture Shares in Porsche The German sports car manufacturer will hold one of Europe’s largest IPOs on Wednesday. By listing shares in Porsche, owner Volkswagen will raise money to invest in electric vehicles and develop software as it tries to catch up with Tesla.

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5. The end of the quarantine in Hong Kong fuels hopes for relaxed China rules Hong Kong ended its quarantine policy on Friday due to Covid-19, raising hopes that the Chinese authorities will relax the mainland’s own restrictions. The cost of a 2.5-year quarantine was high on Hong Kong’s gross domestic product and population, with more than 120,000 residents leaving this year.

the next day

Funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe World leaders gather in Tokyo to attend Abe’s controversial state funeral. The former prime minister was assassinated during a campaign rally in July.

US economy The Conference Board today releases its Consumer Confidence Index, which is expected to show a brighter outlook for the US economy. The Federal Housing Finance Agency also publishes figures on US home prices and sales.

  • Go deeper: The housing data comes at a time when US mortgage rates are rising rapidly. Earlier this month, the average mortgage rate in the US was above 6 percent for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

Stay tuned for the important business, economic and political stories with the FTs in the coming days Week ahead. Click to subscribe here. And miss our FT Newsletter audio show — a brief daily rundown of key global stories.

What else do we read

Chinese business schools embrace the state agenda China is reshaping the way it will train the next generation of business leaders. Required classes now include material on Xi Jinping’s policy mantras, and admissions have shifted to students with backgrounds in technology and manufacturing.

Sign of Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management

Changing course: Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management is one of many business schools in China adjusting their curriculum © FT

Far-right Meloni responds to Italian desire for radical change After two decades of economic stagnation, Giorgia Meloni’s victory reflects the Italians’ desire to move in a new direction. The far-right firefighter will become the country’s first female prime minister, promising to boost the economy and continue to work with Brussels.

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Chinese metals giant to sell and restructure assets Maike Metals, which handles a quarter of China’s refined copper imports, will sell assets and consider extensive restructuring, chairman He Jinbi told the FT. The group’s announcement shows how the economic slowdown in China is translating into a liquidity crisis among highly indebted companies in the private sector.

The Seven Economic Wonders of a Worried World In times of economic gloom, it is worth highlighting the few countries that defy the prevailing pessimism. Ruchir Sharma outlines seven that stand out in a world tilting towards recession.

Meet SoftBank’s financial guru Yoshimitsu Goto, no ordinary head of finance, is at the center of SoftBank’s grueling battle against the global tech flight that has cost the conglomerate $23 billion. Goto, one of the few who can say ‘no’ to founder Masayoshi Son, is an exception to the exodus of SoftBank’s management over the past 18 months.

Fashion

Young entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the marketing potential of TikTok and Instagram to build successful businesses in real life. Their personal, playful and almost grassroots launches are a stark contrast to the regular popups and help lure long queues of teens.

Customers at an online fashion event

Many shoppers are willing to wait hours to buy fashion that they cannot find on the high street. © Harry Mitchell

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