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Business backs democracy

January 5, 2021, 10:25 AM UTC

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Good morning.

The U.S. business community came out in force yesterday, rejecting the efforts of some Republicans to try and undo the election of Joseph Biden during tomorrow’s joint session of Congress to count electoral votes. Here’s the Business Roundtable:

With claims of electoral fraud having been fully considered and rejected by federal and state courts and state government officials, the integrity of the 2020 election is not in doubt. There is no authority for Congress to reject or overturn electoral votes lawfully certified by the states and affirmed by the Electoral College.”

Here’s the National Association of Manufacturers:

“In every election, many Americans are disappointed by the results. But disappointment does not justify harming our democracy or undermining faith in our elections based on unproven charges and conspiracy theories.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

Efforts by some members of Congress to disregard certified election results in an effort to change the election outcome or to try and make a long-term political point undermines our democracy and the rule of law and will only result in further division.”

And the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board:

“The 117th Congress should not be squandering precious time and resources undermining the election outcome which has been certified by Democratic and Republican state officials across the United States.  The Congress needs to provide leadership that is laser focused on getting Americans safely back to work and bringing the nation together to defeat the pandemic and restore American competitiveness.”

Done. Can we just move on now? Nothing in his presidency so clearly reveals the nature of Donald Trump as his leaving it. In service of his own ego, he is undermining the constitution and democracy, and may well hand a defeat to Senate Republicans in the process. Keep a close eye on today’s Georgia elections.

More news below.  And if you are willing to give one more moment of regard to 2020, read Fortune editor-in-chief Clifton Leaf’s piece on the “20 things that went strangely, wonderfully right” last year.

Alan Murray


Lockdown whiplash

England has gone into full lockdown for the third time, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson made one of his many U-turns on the subject. Other U.K. nations have taken similar measures, as COVID-19 case numbers soar. Businesses are getting a new $6.2 billion package to help them through the coming months. Johnson's new order also included the cancellation of this year's crucial end-of-schooling exams, after education officials were reportedly told the opposite just hours before. Fortune

Delisting whiplash

The NYSE's Trump-ordered delisting of three Chinese telecoms giants—China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom Hong Kong—knocked the companies' shares and led them to offer investors Hong Kong-listed stock in exchange for their American depositary shares. But then the exchange announced yesterday that the delisting was on hold while its regulators "continue to evaluate the applicability" of the outgoing president's executive order. Fortune


Slack celebrated the first big workday of the new year by taking a nap for a few hours. Ergo the intro to this piece on the outage by Fortune's Aaron Pressman: "This story was assigned to me via an antiquated technology: email." Fortune

Gojek and Tokopedia

Indonesia's Gojek (ride-hailing and payments) and Tokopedia (e-commerce) are reportedly in advanced talks to finalize an $18 billion merger. They already share investors such as Temasek, Sequoia and Google. The combined entity would list in Jakarta and the U.S. Reuters


FCA + PSA = Stellantis

Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-maker PSA Group are speeding up their merger, which now has shareholder approval. The creation of their merged entity, which will be known as Stellantis, was due to take place towards the end of Q1; now it's on track for Jan. 16. Stellantis will manage 15 vehicle brands, and needs to overcome challenges in China and Europe. Wall Street Journal

Foxconn rally

Speaking of cars, iPhone-manufacturer Foxconn (formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.) has signed a production deal with Chinese electric-car firm Byton. The push into auto has given Foxconn's shares a big bump—4% today, following 8% yesterday. CNBC

Car subsidies

And still on the car subject, China is reducing its subsidies for new electric-vehicle purchases, by a fifth. The move follows a post-pandemic (in China) recovery in sales. Fortune

Flight hopes

Qantas is now taking bookings for international flights from July 1, in the hope that vaccinations will have made such things possible by then. That's a bringing-forward of flights to destinations such as London, which were set to resume October, but a pushing-back of flights to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, which were previously scheduled for a March restart. Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.