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Quest Means Business
January U.S. Jobs Report Dramatically Beats Expectations; Tech Shares Reverse Fortunes With Amazon And Snap Up Sharply; Opening Ceremonies Kick Off Winter Olympic Games; Macron To Hold Face-To-Face Talks With Putin Today; Rescuers Race To Save Boy Stuck Down Well In Morocco; Dutch May Dismantle Historic Bridge For Bezos' Megayatch. 3-4p ET
Aired February 04, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: There is an hour to go on trading before the week comes to an end, and extreme volatility has been seen
across the board, both on the Dow and on the triple stack.
The NASDAQ, however, is up some two percent. The Dow is strong. The Dow has swung through nearly 400 points in today. Amazon is up 15 percent.
The way the markets are looking, and these are the main events behind all of that.
January's jobs report was surprisingly high. Omicron didn't impact U.S. hiring as much as we might have thought.
China is agreeing to buy more Russian energy. The two countries leaders promoting close ties at the Olympics.
And a Chilean company wants a bite of the target market of plant based foods.
Live in New York at the end of the week. It is Friday, February the 4th. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean business.
Good evening, it is rare for a jobs report to shock economists, politicians, and the markets all at the same time. None were predicting
that the U.S. economy would add 467,000 jobs in January, and all at the height of the omicron surge.
The consensus have been 450,000 jobs to be added. Some economists are actually predicting losses.
The Biden administration had been lowering expectations and bracing for the worst. The latest numbers made the President's job that much easier this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm pleased to report this morning, and many of you already know that America's job machine is going
stronger than ever, fueling a strong recovery and opportunity for hardworking women and men all across this great country. America is back to
Today, we learned that in January, our economy created 467,000 jobs. That's not all. We learned the job growth in November and December over last year
was revised up by more than 700,000 jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Those upward revisions the President is talking about are contributing to what's happening in the markets. It's been an up and down
day, you can see the NASDAQ is having the best of it. But this could arguably because of Amazon, which we'll get to in just a moment, which is
up some 15 to 16 percent on results and earnings that it has and the Dow is up -- not as much as the others, but there are other factors for the Dow.
It is all strong and steady job growth, which bolster the case for Jerome Powell and the Fed to tighten the higher interest rates in March.
Matt Egan is with us now.
Come on, Matt, first of all, how did everybody miss this better than expected, dramatically better than expected number?
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Richard, I would argue that this dramatically better than expected number shows that the economic models,
they're not just broken, they don't really exist for the COVID world we live in.
I mean, how do you model for omicron? A variant that almost overnight sidelined 12 million workers? You can't really. It's an impossible task,
and I put this question to Austan Goolsbee, the former Obama economist, and he said: Look, we thought that because previous waves of COVID caused
people to be on unpaid sick leave, that that would happen again and that would show up in this report, and we were wrong.
The other theory here though is that the jobs market is actually a lot stronger than people realize, that we were able to just keep adding jobs
despite omicron. Either way, you know, all of this shows how hard it is to accurately forecast anything in the COVID economy. We've seen this with the
upward revisions you were just talking about. We've seen that with inflation, which very few people thought would be as hot as it has been,
and I think that all of this shows that it's really hard to predict what's going to happen and we should take any forecast with a grain of salt
including, by the way, forecasts from the Federal Reserve.
QUEST: Yes, except, dear sir, there is a similarity in the two numbers, the higher inflation and the higher job creation both suggest an economy
that is powering ahead.
Now, look, I know that there are some people who say that the higher inflation is predominantly because of -- in fact, on this program last
night, we had Philipp Hildebrand saying that inflation is because of supply chain issues, but if the economy is not running overheating, it's certainly
EGAN: Yes, I mean, I think if you put together all the pieces right now of the jobs market, the fact that this was a better report than expected, the
fact that the prior two months were dramatically upwardly revised, the unemployment rate went up for the right reason, because people went off the
sidelines. You know, it points to a jobs market that is not just resilient, as you can see on that graphic, but it is actually on fire.
And so that does put pressure on the Federal Reserve to move more aggressively to cool things off. You know, just a few months ago, Richard,
you and I were debating is the Fed going to raise interest rates two times, or maybe three times? Now the debate is four, five, six, seven, eight
times. The story has changed because the situation has changed.
The jobs market is stronger than we realized, and the Fed really has to catch up to inflation. I think the good news, though, is that today's
report suggests that the jobs market might be strong enough to allow the Fed to catch up without tanking the economy in the process.
QUEST: Two questions for one word answers from you, Mr. Egan. First, does the Fed raise in March?
QUEST: Second, a quarter or half a point?
EGAN: A quarter.
QUEST: Thank you. Have a good weekend, sir.
EGAN: You, too.
QUEST: The wild ride in the tech sector isn't letting up. There is relief. Look at that. Snap is up 61 percent. Amazon is up 15 percent. Even Meta-
Facebook is up just a fraction or so. And the reason Amazon said to investors that they've avoided the missteps of Meta.
The earnings show the company's bread and butter, AWS - Amazon Web Services is continuing to grow, not huge, but it's growing. It's also raising the
price of Amazon subscriptions by $20.00 a year in the U.S.
By the way, for those who think it has happened very often, the last time that happened was in 2018. So I guess we've had three years or so before a
price rise, and Snap said its advertising bounced back after Apple's privacy rule changes.
Paul La Monica - guru La Monica is with us. Why would Amazon -- because Amazon was down very heavily yesterday, eight percent, and then these
numbers come up and it goes up 15 percent. So it not only regains the losses of yesterday, it adds on some weight and Snap, of course they're
doing similarly, why?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Well, let's talk about Amazon first, Richard, the numbers were spectacular. So, I think what you had
happening today is that investors realize they probably made a mistake yesterday, lumping in all of these Big Tech stocks as one kind of amorphous
blob, if you will, and assuming that: Oh, Meta had a bad quarter, then that must mean Amazon did too. And clearly, that wasn't the case.
Now, make no mistake, Richard, as you already alluded to, Amazon's core business of online retail, that is still struggling a little bit with
regards to profitability. They lost money in their main business line. But Amazon Web Services is so obscenely profitable that it is able to drive up
earnings for the entire company, and I think that's a testament to Andy Jassy, the now CEO of Amazon used to head the Cloud unit.
Also, Amazon booked a nice gain on paper investment in Rivian, the electric truck company. So there are some factors that obviously other companies
didn't have that benefited Amazon that, you know, something like Meta was not able to do.
QUEST: Yes, I was interested in that Rivian accounting maneuver, because Rivian, of course, is down some 60-odd percent from its 52-week high, but I
am guessing that Amazon has managed to put the best and most favorable face on that.
LA MONICA: Yes, and I think also it's clear that Amazon as an early investor was not buying the stock at the IPO price like average investors
would. So that's something that's to their benefit, and then if you want to talk about Snap, I mean, they really rebounded from all the doom and gloom
about those Apple iOS privacy changes, and that's why the stock is snapping, so to speak, back this sharply.
But even -- and I don't want to rub it in, even with a 60 percent gain today, the stock is still down more than 15 percent this year. That's how
dramatically it's fallen.
QUEST: But as the as dear good viewer of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS knows, we bought our Snap at $28.16. We've been following it ever since we've
undertaken not to sell it since we have now gone public on the fact that it is there. So yes, today the QMB Snap holding is at $39.00, so we are --
Yes, but unfortunately, the QMB DD Holding is down another four percent, at 3.4 percent.
LA MONICA: We need to write that one off, Richard, I would say at this point.
QUEST: No, no. No, we're following that. We've now undertaken, but we are following the QMB DD stake all the way through to its Hong Kong listing
however much money we lose.
Thank you, sir.
LA MONICA: Thank you.
QUEST: Adding to January's stellar job numbers, and of course, the technology turbulence, President Biden has now set a record as the U.S.
President with six and a half million jobs added. The Misery Index, that's the combined unemployment inflation rates is now at 11, it is down from
16.7, but that was in 2020.
In other words, the American public doesn't seem to be taking notice that things economically are okay. And a Gallup poll puts the satisfaction with
overall quality of life at just 69 percent, which is bizarre considering it was 84 percent in 2020.
Rich Lesser is the Global Chair at Boston Consulting, he is with me now. I mean, how would you square that circle that actually things are not that
bad? The markets are volatile, but frankly, you know, we can see where they're going or we can see policy forward, but people don't feel happy.
RICH LESSER, GLOBAL CHAIR, BOSTON CONSULTING: Well, what have we all gone through for this last 24 months? I mean, I'm still coming to you from my
house. I do go into the office some days, but so many people are living disrupted lives. How stressful was January with kids in school and teachers
being sick and all the rest?
I mean, it's a very challenging time for everyone with a backdrop of a very negative discourse on many dimensions. And the uncertainty, I mean, I think
people are living through a very stressful time and every time you think you've gotten past it, something comes along, particularly in the
coronavirus environment that makes it hard.
I'm not at all surprised people are feeling stressed and a bit down right now.
QUEST: I want you to listen to the Governor of the Bank of England in an interview with the BBC, where I sort of know what he is saying, but you're
not really supposed to say it, which is basically don't ask for big pay rises. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW BAILEY, GOVERNOR, BANK OF ENGLAND: What we can do is try to prevent it becoming -- spreading and become -- inflation spreading, inflation
becoming more ingrained in the system.'
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to get into people's heads and ask them not to ask for too high a pay rise.
BAILEY: Well, broadly, yes. I can say that, in the sense of saying, we do need to see a moderation of wage rises. Now, that's painful. I don't want
to in any sense, you know, sugar that mess. It is painful, but we need to see that in order to get through this problem more quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, would you would you be advising any of your clients, keep your pay rises low because of inflation, never mind profits or whatever. But
keep your pay raises low because of inflation.
LESSER: I have a different take you know of what we just heard. I think what we have to recognize is, we have a lot of idiosyncratic and very
challenging things that we're dealing with that are contributing to inflation right now -- the chip shortage, supply chain disruption, workers
being out, some reluctant to return to their jobs because of family situations or other reasons, and that combined with a lot of cash that went
into the system to help us navigate the crisis in a way to have a growing economy which we have, have contributed to inflation.
In the short term, I think it's very reasonable that workers should want to keep up their wages with the environment that we see around us. That is
different than saying we're in a permanent inflationary spiral and have an expectation that over the next five years, we're going to be in a wage
price spiral, and I think it is incumbent on all of us to acknowledge the challenges of the short term to make sure that the Fed and others act
responsibly to get interest rates back into a more normal range versus the depressed range they've been in, but not to get in our head we are in a
permanent wage price spiral.
This looks more like the 1940s with all the supply disruptions after the war than the 1970s, and at least, no one knows for sure, but I think that's
certainly a very real possibility right now.
QUEST: What's the one thing that your clients are asking you about? The one thing that they are now with all the issues on the ground at the
moment, what is the one thing that you are finding most requiring to consulting?
LESSER: What is interesting right now is the range of things. Of course, in the medium term there's a huge challenge on climate, there is dealing
with supply. I think the immediate pressure that most people are feeling are around the human factors, around retaining and retaining and attracting
And one of the things we highlight, we just finished a survey that highlighted that people are not quitting over wages as much as they're
quitting over burnout, and make it a better work environment, understand the stresses people are feeling, take those issues on in a big way, and
don't just translate all the pressures as a wage issue.
QUEST: I want to take you on that. Remind me again, how many employees you've got?
LESSER: Twenty -- almost 25,000 around the world.
QUEST: How do you as the CEO transmit a message from your level to Director of Management, to executive management to middle management? Two
things. Firstly, watch out yourself for burnout and two, be sympathetic to those people you're managing and watch out for their burnout?
LESSER: Well, first of all, you cover -- first of all, by the way, I'm the Global Chair now, I am no longer CEO. But back to your main question, the
most important thing right now is that we engage as teams, we don't think you can solve the problem just from a top down view, though you can do
things to introduce flexibility to address mental health issues in a systemic way to help people take on those issues.
But then team by team, we need people to look out for each other, engage openly on the stresses people are feeling, try to make for better work
environments day by day and to do that and to be more self-aware about the stresses that are feeling and going through.
So the flexibility, the mental health support, the caring environment, you set as a broad global agenda, and then you do enormous work about
communication, how we work together on the ground, day by day to support each other and that those things go a very long way to helping people get
through a tough time right now.
QUEST: I hope Christoph Schweizer will forgive me. I'm not sure whether I -- I'm not sure whether I promoted him or demoted him or promoted you,
either way, you're still a big cheese at Boston Consulting, and we ask -- you know, it is either there is a lot -- it's better to ask for forgiveness
than permission to begin with.
Thank you, sir, much appreciate it.
LESSER: It was a pleasure.
QUEST: It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS at the end of the week. You can see it has been that sort of week, hasn't it?
Global TV broadcasters are bracing for a new Olympics ratings flop now that the opening ceremonies have been held.
We'll be talking to the head of the Olympic Broadcasting Services, in a moment.
QUEST: The Winter Olympics, they're up and running, and they are doing everything at the same stadium that hosted the Beijing Games 14 years ago.
Now, the fanfare was obviously more subdued this time around. It is the second Olympic to have taken place in the pandemic, and is being held in
far, far stricter bubbles than the one enforced last year in Tokyo.
Political tensions have also cast a shadow, dignitaries from U.S. and several other countries are conspicuously absent. Others are happy to be
there as Selina Wang explains.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Vladimir Putin bringing the eyes of the world with him to Beijing. Like the Russian President who has
silenced his critics at home and threatened his enemies abroad, many of the dignitaries at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics do not have a
glowing record when it comes to human rights and freedoms.
It's a constant charged leveled at host China.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: We should not be here at all.
WANG (voice over): While athletes from 91 teams will compete, far fewer will be represented by visiting VIPs at the opening ceremony, and most of
those places are considered either not free or only partly free by U.S. rights group, Freedom House.
From Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Egypt's Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the autocratic leaders of countries like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan,
they are all filling a gap left by the United States and like-minded countries who are staging a diplomatic boycott.
Washington says China's rights record particularly the alleged genocide of its Uyghur Muslim minority means it cannot contribute to the fanfare of the
Despite mounting evidence, the Chinese government says it's not persecuting the Uyghurs.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of
the PRC's egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can't do that.
WANG (voice over): A far cry from 2008 when George W. Bush sat shoulder to shoulder with Chinese officials.
BRENNAN: We are saying basically to China, we despise your repressive, awful regime. We hate what you're doing with human rights abuses. We are
not going to validate your Olympic Games, and we are not coming, but we're sending our athletes to do what they do. So it's really the perfect answer.
WANG (on camera): But to Beijing, the party won't be spoiled by its many notable absentees. The 2008 Games were a moment for China to prove to the
world what it was capable of, but this time around, the country isn't asking for approval and the world is well aware of China's might.
(voice over): The U.S. believes its diplomatic snub will keep Beijing's rights record in focus, but as the West turns its back on China, Xi Jinping
is finding friends elsewhere, friends who won't be so quick to criticize.
Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
QUEST: Last year's Tokyo Games were the lowest rated Olympics on record in the U.S. The Winter Games usually do even worse. The first batch of ratings
are in. In Australia, the reality TV series "Married at First Sight" on Channel 9 had nearly twice as many viewers as Channel 7's Olympic coverage,
and Australia has a smaller time shift from host Beijing to the rest of the world.
It's also the first Winter Games where Eurosport is the main rights holder in the U.K., and that network reportedly paid 1.3 billion euros for Olympic
broadcasting rights across most of Europe in 15 after it was acquired by Discovery Communications. It's sold over the air rights to local
Yiannis Exarchos is the Chief Executive of the Olympic Broadcasting Services. He puts it all together. He joins us from Beijing.
Good to see you. First of all, sir, whatever else we're going to talk about, congratulations on excellent pictures in UHD with magnificent camera
work and technology, which regardless of politics and regardless of everything else, your technical people and the people who are your
professionals are doing -- have done a superb job so far.
Of course, it is only day one. So there's plenty of time for you to feel the pressure, but congratulations.
YIANNIS EXARCHOS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, OLYMPIC BROADCASTING SERVICES: Thank you very much, Richard. Thank you for having me, and thank you very much
for your kind words. Obviously, it means a lot to us and to the team especially coming from you and there is no doubt that these Games as the
games of Tokyo as well our games which are underpinned by a lot by technology, especially on the broadcast front and the digital front because
as we know, we live in times which are extremely exciting in terms of technology, but for us technology is not the focus. We use technology to
tell the stories of the best athletes of the world.
QUEST: As I understand it, I mean, you say the conditions laid out by the Chinese government who you're with has been a highly complex environment
from planning. The different conditions -- what's been the most difficult thing that you've had to face here, different from the last time, different
from Tokyo as a result of the Chinese restrictions?
EXARCHOS: First of all, allow me to say that the conditions for operating the Games for organizing the games built in Tokyo and here in Beijing have
been developed in collaboration between the host governments, the organizing committees, and of course, the International Olympic Committee.
They were based both on the respect for the local conditions and the policies of the governments on the health front and protection of public
health, but also on the best practices from around the world in hosting major sporting events.
If there is one difference between Tokyo and in Beijing it is that in Beijing, we are dealing with an environment of zero tolerance to
transmission of the disease. China has remained consistently as one of the safest country in the world with less transmission and so on, and this has
obviously been the result of very strict measures that we also had to follow.
Here, the objective -- the joint objective of all these conditions that we have jointly developed and under the name of the playbook for the operation
of The Games, they are not exactly aiming zero COVID, they are aiming zero transmission. And I think so far, they have been extremely successful as
they were in Tokyo.
QUEST: I want to finish talking about the technology here because not only UHD, 4K, 8K, all these different things, you have to provide and you have
to be available with, but there is a conceptual issue here as well, isn't there? Getting the viewer as close as possible to the action?
EXARCHOS: Correct. The UHD/HDR that we are doing here, of course, more resolution offers brilliant images were which are much, much closer to
reality, but what we are consistently trying is to get into the action and to understand better what it takes for these extraordinary performance of
these extraordinary people, which are the Olympic athletes.
Especially now with the emergence of digital, we have opportunities to create different types of content. In the Games of Beijing, we will be
producing close to 6,000 hours of content during these 17 days.
The conversation itself is only 1,000 hours, all the rest is additional content that we could use different points of view, content made
specifically for social platforms, et cetera. So there is where technology comes very, very handy.
QUEST: Congratulations, sir. You've got 16 days, I think is ahead of you and I wish you and your team extreme good luck and fortune as you do so.
EXARCHOS: Thank you.
QUEST: Now, just put this into perspective. Six thousand hours of coverage. Now imagine, 6,000 QUESTS MEANS BUSINESSES in 16 days. That puts
it into code. Well, some people would enjoy that.
As Olympic athletes compete in Beijing, world leaders are meeting to strike deals, Vladimir Putin has been busy, in a moment.
QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest. A lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS this Friday. We'll be telling you about the Presidents Putin and Xi and the
energy deal that they struck or at least signed at the Olympics. Putting it into practice may prove more challenging and a different kind of supply
chain problem for Jeff Bezos. His super yacht is too big to fit under Rotterdam Bridge, and the answer, of course, wow, move the bridge.
Before we get to any of that allow me to update you with the headlines. This is CNN. And on this network the news always comes first.
President Emmanuel Macron is to hold face to face talks with President Putin in Moscow on Monday. An Elysee official says that the French
president will ask Mr. Putin for signs of deescalation of tensions with Ukraine and demand there'd be no incursion by Russian forces. The French
President then goes to Kiev on Tuesday where he'll meet with Ukrainian leaders. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says he will become the
governor of Norway's central bank in this December.
He's set to make the move out his term at NATO ends on October the 1st. Stoltenberg says he will stay focused on his NATO's duties until then.
Emergency workers in Morocco are digging day and night to save a five-year- old boy who fell into a 32-meter well. The boy has now been trapped for three days and the rescuers say they have five meters left before they
Vladmir Putin is coming away from Beijing with an economic victory if now tells. The Russian President has struck oil and gas deals with China's
President Xi and it's worth an estimated $117 billion. China's total natural gas imports grew 20 percent last year. Imports from Russia 10
percent up from November to December. This deal will give Rosneft and provide China with 100 million tons of crude over the next decade.
Russia is China's third largest gas supplier and is looking to expand its business outside of Europe. Anna Stewart joins us now. You look at the
companies that are these suppliers. Look, it's really straightforward, isn't it? On the one hand, you've got one of the world's largest importers.
And then you have one of the largest exporters. As we talked yesterday, my enemy's enemy is my enemy, they're going to do a deal.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes. And they have done some deals and they are fairly significant. But it's not nearly as simple as Russia would like. I
mean, given the tensions we're seeing in the West, the fact that Europe remains the biggest customer and they face potential -- well, further
tensions and potentially sanctions. It would be much easier, wouldn't it? To just redirect all of their gas to China which is very hungry for gas.
Their demand has actually quadrupled over the past decade. But as a matter of pipelines switch and this is where it gets rather complicated.
There is one pipeline that goes from Russia, we -- right through China, the power of Siberia. Currently, though, that only pipes around 10 billion
cubic meters a year, has got capacity to ramp up. And by 2035, that should ramp up by about -- well, to about 38. Today, there was an announcement,
they're going to add another 10 onto that. We don't have a timeline. So we're talking in the next few years.
That is a fraction, a tiny fraction of the gas Russia currently supplies to Europe, which is over 175 billion cubic meters a year.
QUEST: Who would they prefer to do deals with?
STEWART: -- I can imagine right now,
QUEST: Well, you know, at the end of the day, if you're Vladimir Putin, do you want to make Europe even more uncomfortable that you're going to do --
you don't have to put your foot on the neck of Europe, you just don't have to have the supply of gas to give him
STEWART: Well, he's already been trying to do that, frankly, and with good reason. Europe is transitioning away from natural gas. And this is one of
the reasons we're in a -- in a bit of a crisis here in Europe, because they didn't secure enough long-term contracts. Already for years now Russia has
been looking for new customers. It needs to think strategically, it needs to think long term.
And of course, these pipelines take a very, very long time to build and a lot of investment. I think the interesting question is also what about
China? Does China want to forge a much greater partnership with Russia? If you look at their slowing economy right now and the fact that the E.U. and
the U.S. are their biggest trading partners, Russia actually only accounts for two percent of China's overall trade.
This is a very uneven balance. You can see here, Russia-China trade grew a lot last year. Russia relies on China for 16 percent of the trade but it's
just not the other way around. So it's a very unequal friendship, Richard.
QUEST: Many are. Anna Stewart. I think you've just given us a lesson in life for Friday on unequal (INAUDIBLE) have a good weekend.
STEWART: You too, sir.
QUEST: As we continue (INAUDIBLE) mayo to faux meat hamburgers. I there no area of the kitchen that will not be attacked by plant-based foods, all the
rage these days. And although the growing market doesn't always lift their stock prices, companies are still looking to get a price of their animal
QUEST: Store shelves are getting increasingly crowded with plant-based products. You've got fake meat, animal products, and they all make up to
$29 billion in sales in 2020. And that could rise dramatically by the end of the decade. And your competitors are squeezing out older plant-based
binary shares in milk. Now let's look at Silk. There's all these different milks that you can now have. Milks everywhere.
And the milk maker OKI lost 70 percent in share value over the past year and Beyond Meat is down some 65 percent. But when it comes to new plant-
based milks, Chile is not co-vying for all this slot. Instead, it's looking for a market of its own. CNN's Rafael Romo introduces us to the company
hoping for a bigger taste of the market.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: So what do we have here?
MATIAS MUCHNICK, FOUNDER AND CEO, NOTCO: So here we have the NotBurger.
ROM: Matias Muchnick likes to talk as much about what his company's products are, as what they are not.
ROMO: So there's nothing but plants in both of these.
ROMO: In fact, he has created a whole company around the word not as in not milk, not ice cream, and not mayo. It's a whole line of plant-based food
products that are intended to be a substitute for those made from animals.
MUCHNICK: When you look at the food system, it has become the common denominator to every major environmental eel known to humankind.
ROMO: Perhaps the most daring one is the NotBurger which is intended to replace the ones made from beef.
ROMO: What kind of market share Have you been able to reach?
MUCHNICK: So, at this point of time, only one year or a little bit, you know, over a year that we launched the NotBurger, we have more than seven
percent of the total market share of burgers, and that includes animal burgers.
ROMO: That's in Chile, the South American country where Muchnick launched this company in 2016. Not quite six years later, NotCompany now sells its
products in four Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. It has also branched out to Canada and the United
MUCHNICK: We started off with mayo in Chile, where basically we got seven percent of market share in only seven months of sales. And that's what
really kind of like caught the attention of investment world.
ROMO: Investors like Jeff Bezos are behind a $370-million push that may allow NotCompany to expand to Europe and Asia. But not everybody is happy
with NotCo success. The young company has been sued by dairy producers in Chile.
MUCHNICK: They're really afraid of this change of consumer behavior of consumer, you know, preference as well.
ROMO: NotCo is not the first one to produce plant-based food aimed at replacing animal products. American brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible
Foods have been around for about a decade and Swedish Oatley was formed in the 90s. But NotCo is filling a void in Latin America where plant-based
alternatives were rare until recently.
Does it taste like beef?
MUCHNICK: Well, you tell me.
ROMO: As for the products themselves.
It taste very close like a real burger. What is different from burger is that the texture is very even.
It's like the real thing, but not quite the real thing.
What do you say to those who don't like what you're doing? Who say that this is not real food. This is fake food. It's going to go nowhere. What's
your answer to that?
MUCHNICK: Well, I think my first answer would say, let's look at the numbers, right? It's a category that has grown double digit since 15 years.
ROMO: Muchnick himself who claims he doesn't eat animal products, admits that plant-based alternatives are a work in progress. His technicians are
always trying to improve in terms of nutrition, taste and texture. Rafael Romo, CNN.
Mind if I take another bite for two?
ROMO: Santiago, Chile.
QUEST: I'm just deciding which one of these I'm going to take home. Do not worry. We are going to buy all this stuff. But obviously, none of it will
go to waste. I think this weekend, I'm feeling like a two percent. But maybe I'll try on my cereal. Now, If you are looking for a plant-based milk
product in Japan, odds are that you'll find it in a vending machine. The country's iconic machines are everywhere. Providing drinks, food, and even
PPE, protective equipment.
All this week we're exploring the ways individuals and businesses in Japan are looking forward to the world beyond the pandemic. CNNs Blake Essig
reporting on how technology is expanding what old machines can do.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When COVID first hit Japan, this vending machine helps Sugako Matsuno shop Mousseline stay
afloat. One chiffon cake at a time. Customers could buy her products without human interaction whenever they want it. After installing the
machine sales eventually increased 20 percent.
SUGAKO MATSUNO, FOUNDER, MOUSSELINE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): If I had spent my life just waiting for customers I would have lost my mind and not been able
to continue this business. The vending machine relieve that stress.
ESSIG: Vending machines are a staple in Japan. They're over 5.5 million of them in the country once every 23 people, the highest ratio in the world.
While it help Matsuno shop, experts say the overall industry took a hit during the pandemic.
DOMINIK STEINER, FOUNDER AND CEO, VPC ASIA: People started working from home and the commuter traffic collapsed and hence there's nobody walking by
the vending machines.
ESSIG: Tech firm VPC Asia has been working in the vending machine industry for five years. It developed this device that helps upgrade older machines
by connecting them to the internet, allowing access to the machines without having to touch or be near it. Customers can buy its products and check
what's for sale using their smartphones while operators can find out when and what products are out of stock, allowing them to route trucks more
Beyond these uses, Steiner says there's even more potential for innovation, opting to look at the machines as real estate.
STEINER: There are so many and they're in prime locations. And so what else can I do other than just selling the drinks or the food?
ESSIG: By including additional sensors, cameras and other types of tech Steiner says the machines could serve various purposes, from marketing,
data storage, weather forecasting, noise analysis for Crime Prevention, to earthquake monitoring.
STEINER: The vibration, we can monitor earthquakes, we cannot predict earthquakes. But we can warn. We have millions of spots in Japan and we can
see where our spec comes from and maybe gain 10, 20 seconds. The platform is ready for all of these. Meaning we've built it, we've tested it, we've
designed it, it's all there.
ESSIG: Well, the tech may be ready. There's still a ways to go before we could see it on the market. Steiner says it still needs buy in from all the
STEINER: The issue is how it integrates into the existing systems into the society. Are they ready to use that data for earthquake or crime
preventions? That is something that will take not months for the years until everybody adapt.
ESSIG: Still, with millions of vending machines operating across Japan, it provides room for creative innovation and competition. VPC Asia hopes to
create a new blueprint for the future of these iconic machines.
And as for chiffon cake maker Matsuno she's looking ahead to her future
MATSUNO: I will continue to use a vending machine even after the pandemic ends. There are many customers who come at all hours of the day. So I want
to keep providing my cakes for them.
QUEST: First we have milk and we have cakes, whatever next. Amazon's speedy shipping, just to add anything to anywhere has made the founder Jeff Bezos
a very rich man. Now he's having some delivery troubles of his own. How this bridge is preventing him receiving his mega, gigantic, enormous, huge
QUEST: Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos is no stranger to complex supply chain issues, which perhaps is why his current problem which had nothing to do
with next day delivery presented him with quite an obvious solution. Here it is. The city of Rotterdam is considering his request to dismantle parts
of an historic bridge that would allow his super yacht being built at the moment in the yard there to reach the sea. Without it, it can't get
The massive boat would leave the Oceano Yard. Oceanco Yard, where it's under construction, and then pass through Koningshaven Bridge before
sailing onwards to the North Sea and on to wherever Mr. Bezos obviously wants it to go. And our producer Nada Bashir joins me from London. Now
look, they built the boat, they must have known when they built the boat that there was -- when they did the plans that there was going to be an
Getting it passed the Koningshaven Bridge and then it was going to be controversial to try and take it down which by the way the mayor has
NADA BASHIR, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Richard, that really is the million-dollar question here. Why didn't anybody think of this before, particularly when
you consider the sheer size of the super yacht, once it's complete it is set to be the tallest sailboat in the world. And when you even consider the
value of the super yacht some estimate it could be worth more than $400 million.
Now, as you mentioned where it is in the shipyard at present normally, vessels would have to pass under the bridge through that passage before
they had any taller structures, including their masts assembled. Now we heard from one local official this morning. He said it's simply wouldn't be
practical, in this case to put the super yacht together in two separate locations. But as you mentioned there, it has caused quite a debate in the
Netherlands as to why this city should consider tearing apart this bridge temporarily and then rebuilding it again just for Jeff Bezos. Please take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR (voice over): The super yacht reportedly commissioned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is under construction in Rotterdam. But in order to get
it to the ocean, the Dutch city's historic steel bridge will have to be temporarily dismantled. A feat that is proving not quite as simple as an
Amazon delivery with some accusing phases of going a bridge too far.
MATTIAS VAN DER WILT, ROTTERDAM RESIDENT: The more moneys you have, the more power you get, even though it goes against principles of the city. The
city says we're not going to do it.
RENE JORGENEEL, ROTTERDAM RESIDENT (through translator): What can I say? I guess big money wins again, as always. But it will also create some
employment of course, and I think that's important for this region as well.
BASHIR: When the bridge known to locals as De Hef was last renovated in 2017. Local officials promised the 19th century landmark would never again
be dismantled. According to Dutch public broadcaster Le Monde. Authorities have acknowledged that the super yacht is a significant project for
Rotterdam considered Europe's maritime capital, benefiting the local economy and creating jobs.
Bezos' shipbuilding company Oceanco would also need to foot the bill. But some including Rotterdam's Green Party have questioned why the city should
be forced to dismantle an iconic landmark for Bezos' personal gain. One local Green Party counselor said this man has earned his money by
structurally exploiting staff, evading taxes and avoiding regulations. And now we have to take down our beautiful national monument that is really
going a bridge too far.
Thousands have even signed up to an event shared on Facebook calling for locals to throw eggs at the super yacht wanted finally set sail. The
request has also sparked debate further afield. U.S. House Representative Adam Schiff tweeting, if Jeff Bezos can pay to dismantle a bridge in the
Netherlands to fit his super yacht, then his company should have no trouble paying its fair share in taxes so we can build bridges in America.
For now, the request is still under consideration which could mean a shipping delay for Bezos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR: Now some people might be questioning, are there any more bridges along the way? Well, we've heard from city officials they have confirmed
there are several bridges along the way to the sea but they won't need to be altered in order for this super yacht to pass through which I imagine
will come as a huge relief not only for the people of the Netherlands but also for Jeff Bezos. Richard?
QUEST: Thank you, Nada Bashir. We'll a few more moments of trading on Wall Street to update you with. The Dow is up after non-farm payrolls committed
three times. Expected numbers, it's off the session highs there. In fact, it's dwindled quite a lot from there and the triple stack is holding its
gains. All the major averages are up. Although the NASDAQ again is given back a bit of it. It's around two percent.
And it's Amazon that's pushing it up. Ironically, Snapchat is up over 60 percent after finishing off 20 percent yesterday. This is a -- I think
these things matter. Having lost 26 percent, it's not recovered today which is probably a good thing for Meta's point of view, because it means it's
consolidating at that particular price ready for what comes next. I promise you a profitable moment, it'll be after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. Something to think about. The meeting between President Xi and President Putin and the statement thereafter talks
a lot about democracy. I nearly spat out the conflicts when I read about it. It says that the sides, the two sides, China and Russia believe that
democracy is a means of citizens participation in the government of their country, really?
And then it says a nation can choose such form and methods of implementing democracy that best suits its particular state, its historical background,
it is only up to the people of the country to decide whether their state is a Democratic one. Who can argue with that? Except maybe the Uyghurs in
China or those in Russia that have been done in or done over in some shape or form by the by the government.
Or indeed, those critics of President Putin who have found themselves either locked up or been murdered as in Salisbury. You've paid your money
your takes your choice when it comes to democracy. For the moment I think I would prefer the messy, nasty, rambunctious, less efficient democracy that
we've got say here in the United States or in the European Union. After all, we get to choose the democracy we want.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. I'll see
you on Monday.