■ TourismThird of Taiwanese traveling
One out of three Taiwan people is predicted to travel outside the country this year, a ratio well higher than Japan's one out of seven, according to government tallies. During the first 10 months of this year, more than 6.63 million Taiwanese went abroad, statistics compiled by the Tourism Bureau showed. Bureau officials forecast that the figure will rise to 7.8 million for the whole of this year, equalling one trip for every three Taiwan people. The figure for the whole of this year will represent a noticeable increase over last year's level of 5.92 million and the 2002 level of 7.32 million. Hong Kong and Macau are the most popular destinations for Taiwanese who go abroad for the first time, as more than 40 percent of the total make their first overseas trips there, the bureau said.
AirAsia to buy 80 planes
Budget airline AirAsia will reach an agreement as early as next month to acquire 80 new aircraft, either from Boeing Co or Airbus, its chief executive has said in an interview. AirAsia, which is credited with revolutionizing cheap air travel in the region, wants to place 40 firm orders and 40 options from either of the two trans-Atlantic rival aircraft manufacturers, the company CEO Tony Fernandes was quoted as saying by the national news agency Bernama yesterday. "Although the board of directors has not accepted any current proposal from Airbus or Boeing, negotiations are now at an advanced stage and an agreement may be reached as early as December 2004," Fernandes told Bernama in an e-mail interview. AirAsia, which is scheduled to be listed on Malaysia's main stock exchange Bursa Malaysia Bhd next Monday, currently has a fleet of 19 leased and five fully owned aircraft -- all of them Boeing 737-300s.
Huawei inks deals in Africa
Major Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co has won contracts to supply telecom gear in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, the company said yesterday. The deals, worth US$442 million in total, include a range of Huawei products including third-generation (3G) mobile phones, optical transmission, switches and routers, Huawei said in an announcement posted on its Web site. Kenya's biggest mobile operator, Safaricom, will purchase US$34 million in equipment and services, it said. Huawei, based in Shenzhen, said that it beat other companies competing for the contracts with a "good performance-price ratio."
Novell sues Microsoft again
Less than a week after a collecting a US$536 million settlement from Microsoft Corp, Novell Inc on Friday filed another lawsuit accusing the software giant of violating antitrust laws. The suit, which dovetails in part off the US government's antitrust case against Microsoft, claims the company used its market dominance in the mid-1990s to keep the WordPerfect word processing program and Quattro Pro spreadsheet application from gaining wider commercial acceptance. The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft withheld technical information about Windows to prevent rival Novell from updating its software, made its own operating system inhospitable to WordPerfect and other Novell programs and leveraged its own ubiquity to prevent Novell from offering its programs to customers.