Boardroom briefing: small retailers in trouble, the future of post-pandemic work and Chinese-US relations get frosty


Singapore sees retail landscape change, how work will look post pandemic and COVID-19 infects Chinese-US relations. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Small retailers feel coronavirus sting

Night view of Singapore Merlion at Marina Bay against Singapore skyline.

If PNG retailers want a view of the future, Singapore’s lockdown has shown that retailers must adapt to the new rules of doing business or die. And the bad news is that the Lion City thinks that it is small retailers are likely to find it hard.

The findings in the Straits Times were that while big retailers might be able to ride out the storm with their deep pockets it will be the small operators that need to change their business models fast to survive. For example, our story today on the PNG retailer Tapioca Delight, rolling out a new online payment system.

Because for big and small retailer alike the road ahead looks like one of slow recovery for this hard-hit sector.

The future of work post coronavirus

People around the world are working remotely to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. Credit: Miles Anthony Smith

Forbes Asia has defined the path businesses are on as an odyssey, not a journey. The difference? A journey follows a predictable path but an odyssey is ambiguous, the end is not always known – just ask Odysseus.

In its piece on post-COVID 19 employment, Forbes looks at how employers and employees can seize the lessons of remote working and find a new way to do business.

The story warns that employers have been evaluated by their workers on their dealings during this time. Was the business quick to furlough employees? Did they plan for the bad times? When business returns and the fight for talent is on once again, it may be that it is the employer that needs to polish their CV.

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Forbes also talks about the new skills employees have learned during the pandemic and how they may be useful in a post-COVID-19 world.

US and China in COVID-19 fight

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua recently released the video ‘Once upon a virus’, which mocks the US response to COVID-19.

A report in the Japan Times looks at how COVID-19 has put the final nails in the coffin of the Sino-American relationship.

Even before the pandemic, Trump’s America and China were at loggerheads over a range of issues. But with nearly 60,000 in the US now dead from COVID-19 and the country keen to put blame on China (and China coming up with its own blame game with the US) things have reached a new low.

While China is trying very hard to mend its reputation by sending out medical supplies and helping out its neighbours, the ‘new normal’ after the pandemic may be a very frosty relationship between these two superpowers, with other countries expected to take sides.

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