Samsung seeks iPhone ban
Samsung Electronics is asking Japanese and Australian courts to block sales of Apple’s new iPhone 4S in those countries. The preliminary injunctions Samsung filed yesterday in Tokyo District Court and the Federal Court in Australia are part of an intensifying patent battle between the smartphone giants. Samsung said Apple Inc continued to violate its patent rights and “free ride on our technology.” Samsung is also appealing an Australian court’s decision last week to temporarily ban sales of Samsung’s new Galaxy tablet computer. Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPad and iPhone and violating Apple’s patents. Samsung said it was also asking a Japanese court to immediately bar sales of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
Rio divesting Alcan business
Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto said yesterday it planned to sell 13 aluminium businesses in Australia, Europe and the US as it looks to trim its Alcan business. The company, which did not reveal how much it expected to raise from the asset sales, said refineries and smelters would go on the auction block as it looked to focus on so-called tier-one assets. Rio bought Canada’s Alcan at the top of the market in 2007 for about US$38 billion, driving up debt and forcing it to sell businesses and slash costs when the market turned amid the global financial crisis. Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said the assets were well-managed businesses with productive workforces, but no longer aligned with Rio’s strategy.
Air France to vote on CEO
Air France-KLM Group’s board were to meet yesterday to vote on ousting Air France-KLM chief executive officer Pierre-Henri Gourgeon and replacing him with Alexandre de Juniac, a former chief of staff to IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, according to two people with knowledge of the proposals. Gourgeon, 65, who has been chief executive since January 2009, was previously slated to stay in his position until January. Instead, he will leave the company within a short period of time, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the change is not yet official. Les Echos reported the board’s plan late on Sunday, saying Gourgeon was told on Friday that he would be replaced. The decision was attributed to disappointment with the firm’s performance.
The government yesterday downgraded its view of the economy for the first time in six months as an overseas slowdown weighed on output and exports, while a strong yen further clouded the outlook. In its monthly report for this month, the Cabinet Office said: “The Japanese economy is still picking up, although the pace has decelerated, while difficulties continue to prevail.” Last month’s report gave no reference to a slowing recovery. Tokyo lowered its assessment of exports, industrial production and personal consumption, while warning that deflation still poses a threat.
Remittances rise 11.1%
Remittances sent home by citizens abroad increased at a faster pace in August, aiding domestic consumption even as a weakening global economy hurts the nation’s exports. The funds increased 11.1 percent from a year earlier to US$1.67 billion, the central bank said in a statement in Manila yesterday. Remittances grew 6.1 percent in July. The gain was the fastest since 2009, Bloomberg data showed.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
NERVOUS MARKET: With the infection sources still unknown for three COVID-19 cases that had departed Taiwan, investors have become uneasy, an analyst said Local shares yesterday came under heavy downward pressure, falling more than 1 percent as renewed fears over a possible increase in domestic COVID-19 infections hit market sentiment after the nation last week reported a case related to a Belgian national. Selling focused on the bellwether electronics sector, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which pushed down the broader market as investors ignored gains posted by tech heavyweights on the US market at the end of last week, dealers said. The TAIEX closed down 151.77 points, or 1.2 percent, at 12,513.03, on turnover of NT$231.43 billion (US$7.84 billion). Foreign