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US-Asia Business

Year in Review: Top Stories of 2018

December 31, 2018
Top Reach Further stories of 2018
From the enactment of the U.S-China trade tariffs to the sweeping success of "Crazy Rich Asians," here is the roundup of the most-read Reach Further stories of 2018

Year-end recap of the most popular Reach Further stories.

2018 has been quite an eventful year for U.S.-China business, from the start of the trade war, which resulted in retaliatory actions and trade tariffs that impacted many businesses domestically and overseas, to the release of “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first Hollywood studio movie in 26 years to have an all-Asian cast and the top-grossing romantic comedy in a decade. In spite of economic volatility, the underlining theme of this year has been, undoubtedly, technological advancement across many sectors. Check out what else has happened this past year, as we look back at different industries and review the most-read Reach Further stories of 2018.

1. Lifestyle

Playing video games may have only been a hobby in the past, but today esports, or electronic sports, is becoming a sweeping global phenomenon, and even a successful career and business investment. Esports, where teams compete in live video game competitions and where global tournaments have prizes in the millions of dollars, is an industry that’s expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020. Esports presents many opportunities for players to aggressively compete, and businesses are getting in on the action. Find out how the global popularity of video gaming competitions is capturing the attention of investors and companies in both the U.S. and China at Esports Becoming Big Business in the US and China.

Esports arena
(Photo credit):

2. Entertainment

Recently added to Time magazine’s annual list of the top 100 most influential people, Kevin Kwan started writing his novel “Crazy Rich Asians” during flight layovers in airports and later published his first book in 2013. One million sold copies later, “Crazy Rich Asians” became a national bestseller and was made into a movie, which came to the big screen in August 2018. Set in Singapore, “Crazy Rich Asians” is a romantic comedy about love, family and wealth, and it is the first Hollywood studio movie in 26 years to have an all-Asian cast. Find out how author Kevin Kwan’s glamorous ode to Singapore is changing Asian representation in Hollywood and is wooing audiences across the globe at Crazy Rich Asians, a Game Changer for Asians in Hollywood.

Crazy Rich Asians movie poster
(Photo credit): Center for Asian American Media, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

3. US-China Business

2018 has unquestionably been the year of tariffs and the escalating U.S.-China trade war. First came tariffs on washing machines and solar panels, then tariffs on steel and aluminum, followed by tariffs on a wider range of Chinese products across industries. As a result, roughly half of all products Americans buy from China have been affected, which has impacted many domestic businesses, both large and small. How can businesses respond to the U.S.-China tariffs, face the uncertain future posed by the trade war, and what core strategies can they adopt? Learn about specific steps businesses can take to minimize the impact and mitigate the risks coming from the U.S.-China tariffs at Now What? Strategies for Navigating US-China Tariffs for Businesses.

Cargo shipments during US-China trade war
(Photo credit): FotoFoto

4. Tech

Startups in artificial intelligence in both the U.S. and China are growing at a fast pace, as an increasing number of companies worldwide are investing in research and development of AI. In China, AI is advancing more quickly compared to the West, seeping into many types of practical, everyday uses, such as mobile communications, driving, shopping, information searches and deliveries. That, together with the Chinese government’s goal to make China a world-leading innovation center for AI by 2030, is leading China to become a hub for global AI development. Read more about how China is aiming to become a world leader in artificial intelligence, and how it plans to achieve that goal at China Chases the AI Dream.

Flowing light waves from profile of woman representing the AI technology
(Photo credit): Lund

5. Innovation

China is making rapid progress and becoming a leader in many technologies, says Chairman and CEO of East West Bank, Dominic Ng. China has come far in areas such as mobile payments, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and transit infrastructure. American consumers stand to lose much, should the U.S. decide to close its markets to Chinese innovation and stop technology cooperation with Chinese firms. Learn more about what Dominic Ng has to say about how the U.S. can benefit from Chinese innovation, and how it would be a mistake for the U.S. to shut down innovative collaboration between the two countries at Dominic’s Take: How Americans Can Benefit from Chinese Innovation.

Dominic’s Take: How Americans Can Benefit from Chinese Innovation
Dominic Ng, Chairman and CEO of East West Bank

6. Small Business

Starting your own business is challenging, as Kei Okumura, the founder of bakery Sugarbird Sweets and Teas, can attest. From finding your niche, to raising capital and connecting with other business owners and entrepreneurs, nothing comes easy. However, with the right resources, support and determination, Kei Okumura was able to grow and develop her business into a successful and profitable venture. Learn more about how this small business owner found her niche, got the right financing to expand her Los Angeles bakery, and turned her business into sweet success at Raising Capital to Take a Sweet Business to the Next Level.

Kei Okumura, owner of Sugarbird Sweets and Teas, at a farmer's market
Kei Okumura, the founder of Sugarbird Sweets and Teas