Carrefour SA, Europe's biggest retailer, will open three outlets to increase to seven its stores in Japan by the end of the year. \nThe Paris-based retailer will open the three outlets in western Japan in the cities of Higashi-Osaka, Amagasaki and Minou by December, said Chikako Ketcham, senior division manager at the company's marketing division in Tokyo. \nCarrefour already has four outlets in operation -- one in Osaka and the rest in Tokyo and nearby areas. \nCarrefour, which opened its first outlet in Makuhari in the outskirts of Tokyo in December 2000, faced difficulty expanding faster into Japan's retail market after misreading local consumer needs and alienating wholesalers. \nAt the same time, competition with local rivals such as Ito-Yokado Co and Aeon Co, Japan's two biggest retailers by sales, increased even as consumer prices fell. \nThe company in late 2001 reduced its plan for 13 Japanese stores by the end of this year to seven, local media reported at the time. \nAsked about the company's expansion plans in Japan into next year, Ketcham said: "Our stance is that we'll see how things will go at these three outlets and decide on it later based on the outcome." \nTo lure more shoppers, the new stores will provide a wider range of "daily use products" such as milk and other necessities, Ketcham said. \nThe company found that the range at its present stores isn't wide enough to meet consumer needs, she said. \n"Just like how consumers feel comfortable shopping at other general merchandise stores, the first thing for us to do is to have that kind of availability for our consumers," Ketcham said. \n"So in terms of how our outlets will look, they will be pretty close to those of the Japanese general merchandise stores. We'll also add our own Carrefour tastes on top of that," she said. \nCarrefour, which expanded into overseas markets in 1973 by opening a store in Spain, currently has about 9,500 outlets in 30 countries, according to its Web site. Carrefour Japan, with capital of ?3.21 billion, employs more than 2,028 people, it said. \nSeparately, the company said today it plans to invest US$800 million to expand in South Korea in the next four years.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200