Samsung PRC fab approved
South Korea yesterday approved Samsung Electronics’ plan to build a new plant in China to produce high-tech memory chips used in tablets and smartphones, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. Following the approval, the world’s largest memory chip maker will select a site for the plant and seek Chinese government permission with a view to starting production next year, the ministry said in a statement. Samsung had requested permission for its planned export of key technology relating to NAND flash memory chips. When completed, the plant will produce 10,000 12 inch wafers per month.
Google demotes Chrome
Google Inc demoted its Chrome browser in Web-search rankings after an advertising effort for the tool ran afoul of its own rules governing paid promotions. The company is “making manual action to demote” Chrome and lower its ranking for at least 60 days, Mountain View, California-based Google said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. Google’s remarks came in response to blog posts that made favorable remarks about the Chrome browsing tool and said they were sponsored by Google, said Aaron Wall, founder of SEOBook.com, which trains marketers on how to improve search results.
Thomas Cook does shake-up
Thomas Cook yesterday said that three board members would leave next month, two of them early, as the travel firm shakes up its leadership in the wake of a funding crunch that triggered a collapse in its share price. The world’s oldest travel firm said non-executive directors David Allvey, Bo Lerenius and Peter Middleton would all retire at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Feb. 8, but that only Allvey had been due to go after nine years of service.
Suzuki plans Indonesia plant
Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp yesterday said it would build a new engine factory in Indonesia in a bid to help boost output of small cars in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market. The car and motorcycle maker has spent ￥10 billion (US$130 million) on a 1.3 million square-meter site in an industrial park outside Jakarta for its third Indonesian factory, Dow Jones Newswires said.
PetroChina buys Athabasca
China will take over full ownership of a Canadian oil sands project for the first time after Athabasca Oil Sands Corp announced on Tuesday it sold the remaining 40 percent of the MacKay River oil sands development to PetroChina (中石油) for US$673 million. Athabasca had previously sold PetroChina a 60 percent stake in two oil sands projects, including MacKay river, and the possibility of the Chinese taking over full ownership was included in that deal and approved by the Canadian government.
Manufacturing grows faster
US manufacturing last month grew at its fastest pace in six months, capping a late-year upswing, but a European slump and rising oil prices posed threats to the US economy in the new year. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity hit its highest level since June, coming in above forecasts at 53.9, more evidence that the US economy picked up steam in the fourth quarter. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.