The age of China’s female self-made billionaires – and why it could soon be over

Rags to riches stories like Zhou Qunfei’s are becoming less common. Elizabeth Holmes, 33, was the darling of Silicon Valley, and the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. Then, after a series of lawsuits, the value of her healthcare firm plummeted. Holmes might have abdicated the billionaire crown, but another tech queen was ready to take it. Only this time, the self-made female billionaire was not a blonde American, but Zhou Qunfei, a 47-year-old from China. She dropped out of high school and began working at a watch lens factory as a teenager. In 1993, when she was in her early twenties, she founded her own company. Her big break came… Read More

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‘We’ve got to be forever vigilant’: The head of an influential parliamentary committee is sounding the alarm on household debt

LONDON — Labour MP Rachel Reeves, head of an influential parliamentary committee on business, added her voice to the growing chorus of alarm on consumer debt in the UK. Reeves, who was an economist with HBOS during its bailout at the heart of the financial crisis, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that issues surrounding debt that emerged during the crisis are “rearing their heads” once more, and warned that Brits and regulators must remain “forever vigilant.” “I do worry about the growth of some of those issues we saw in the mortgage market in 2008 now rearing their heads in unsecured lending and in car purchases,” Reeves told the… Read More

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10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday. 1. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) is “limited.” The Facebook CEO previously called negative remarks on AI, such as those made by Musk, “pretty irresponsible.” 2. SoftBank is reportedly interested in a multibillion dollar investment in Uber. The Japanese giant, however, is waiting for the company to find a new and strong leadership first. 3. Adobe is going to phase out Flash, the software millions of people have used to watch videos and play games on the web. The company says that the arrival of technologies like HTML5 is… Read More

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Michael Gove rules out UK importing chlorinated chicken in Brexit rift with Liam Fox

Environment secretary rules out import of chlorinated chicken in new Cabinet rift. Fox claimed yesterday that there was “no issue” with chlorine-soaked meat. But Gove insists that UK must not lower its food safety standards after Brexit. Gove’s comments come after EU officials accuse Britain of “ignorance” on the issue. LONDON — Michael Gove today ruled out Britain accepting chlorinated chicken as part of any future free trade deal with the US, in a new Cabinet rift over Brexit. Chlorinated chicken is currently banned from import under EU rules, along with the use of growth hormones in beef farming, the spraying of pig carcasses with lactic acid and the sale… Read More

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Amazon is thinking about using its delivery drones to scan your house to sell you more stuff (AMZN)

Amazon’s ambitions to build a fleet of self-flying delivery drones will have an interesting side-effect: They will create unimaginable quantities of data. Aerial footage, mapping data, flight patterns, number-crunching analysis, and more — autonomous vehicles produce vast reams of data, and drones are no different. And Amazon is already thinking about how it can turn that to its advantage. In a filing for a patent granted on Tuesday, the Seattle-based online retail giant lays out how “captured data may be received by a computer system and properties about a destination for the delivery may be identified by analyzing the data. A recommendation may be generated based at least in part… Read More

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One chart shows meal kit startup HelloFresh might not tank like Blue Apron

There’s a lot of money riding on the fact that we’re all too busy to cook our own meals from scratch. US meal-delivery startup Blue Apron went public last month, banking on investor interest in the sudden flurry of firms catering to lazy chefs. But the IPO was a flop. Blue Apron initially planned to raise $587 million (£450 million) from the float, but slashed its IPO range as investors cooled. All of this coincided with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and the launch of Amazon’s own meal kits. Blue Apron’s share price finally recovered this week after Wall Street analysts decided its stock was a bargain. Where does all… Read More

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