Medical tourism promoted
The government announced yesterday that it was easing visa requirements for patients seeking care at local hospitals in a bid to promote “medical tourism,” particularly among Asians with rising wealth. Under the new Visa for Medical Stay system, which will start next month, foreign patients can receive renewable, multiple-entry six-month visas, compared with single-entry, 90-day visas available now. The program is designed to lure wealthy individuals and their families, particularly from China and other Asian nations, as a way of expanding the medical business sector. The move follows the example of other Asian nations, such as South Korea and Singapore.
Fujitsu, Boeing sign accord
Computer giant Fujitsu Ltd yesterday announced an accord with Boeing Co to jointly create a smart-tag-based aircraft parts management system designed to help airlines reduce maintenance costs. The two companies plan to launch the system in the first quarter of 2012 for Boeing and other makes of aircraft, the Japanese firm said in a statement. Fujitsu is in charge of manufacturing the smart tags, which will be attached to about 2,000 aviation parts including life vests to record data such as their life span, maintenance history and scheduled replacement dates. Fujitsu and Boeing hope to sign up about 10 customers in the first four years, implying sales of ￥20 billion (US$238 million) for Fujitsu alone, a Fujitsu spokesman said.
Yahoo to cut services
Yahoo is preparing to close more of its online services now that it has shed about 600 employees. The endangered list includes the content-sharing site Delicious, according to an internal Yahoo slide leaked on the Internet on Thursday. After the slide appeared, Yahoo Inc confirmed it will phase out several services in the upcoming months without specifically mentioning Delicious. The company has been getting rid of unpopular or unprofitable services over the past two years to focus on other areas more likely to attract traffic and sell advertising. As part of the reshuffling, Yahoo trimmed its work force by about 4 percent earlier this week.
FedEx bullish on finances
FedEx Corp raised its fiscal full-year outlook on record holiday shipments, sending shares higher even as its second-quarter profit missed analyst’s estimates. “We’re now more bullish about the remainder of the year based on our record-setting peak volumes and greater anticipated customer demand for our services,” chief executive Fred Smith said during a Thursday conference call. “We believe consumer and business sentiments are improving.” FedEx raised its full-year forecast to between US$5 and US$5.30 a share from its prior estimate of US$4.80 to US$5.25.
Apple plans Mac App store
Apple is planning a Jan. 6 opening for an online shop stocked with software applications that add entertaining or functional features to the firm’s Macintosh computers. The Mac App Store will launch in 90 countries and offer free and paid mini-programs in categories including games, lifestyle, education and productivity, the iconic California company announced on Thursday. Earlier this month, Google opened an online shop stocked with applications tailored for its increasingly popular Chrome Web browsing software.