Terry Gou in ‘animal’ spat
Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn (富士康) has apologized over comments by chief Terry Gou (郭台銘) reportedly comparing workers to animals, a report said yesterday. Gou drew criticism on online news forums and discussion sites after he was quoted by Taiwanese media as saying “I have a headache how to manage 1 million animals” at the company’s year-end party at Taipei Zoo earlier this month. Foxconn, the world’s largest maker of computer components, employs about 1 million workers in China. The company issued a statement over the weekend to apologize to “anyone who feels offended.” “Gou is aware that the media reports are misleading and offensive and he apologizes to anyone who feels offended. However, Gou did not deliberately slander the workers as some media described,” the Taipei-based Now News Web site quoted Foxconn as saying.
Hitachi to stop making TVs
Japanese high-tech giant Hitachi said yesterday it will stop making televisions by the end of September as intense price competition hurts TV earnings at many electronics manufacturers worldwide. Hitachi will “terminate television production by the end of September” in Japan, said Sayori Nishino, a company spokeswoman, having already outsourced overseas TV manufacturing to foreign firms in 2009. However, it will still sell televisions branded with its “Wooo” logo made by contractors. Ratings agency Moody’s last week downgraded both Sony and Panasonic, citing losses in the two firms’ TV divisions, among other factors.
Possible Tan sale hailed
The possible sale of billionaire Lucio Tan’s (陳永裁) stake in Philippine Air Inc, is a “welcome” development that may bolster investments and improve services of the nation’s biggest carrier, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, told reporters in Manila yesterday. “It would mean additional investments to the country,” Lacierda said. The investment would help improve “the branding of our national carrier,” he said. Tan said on Friday last week he may sell a stake in the airline at the “right price.” Philippine Airlines cut jobs last year when it outsourced catering and other ground services.
BHP to expand harbor
BHP Billiton Ltd, the world’s largest mining company, received conditional approval for a A$14 billion (US$14.7 billion) expansion of its iron ore export harbor in Western Australia to boost supply to steel mills. The spending on Port Hedland harbor, which includes rail, ore stockpiles and a 4km jetty, will add capacity of 240 million tonnes a year, the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority said in a statement yesterday. The cost estimate comes from a report last year by the state’s Department of Mines and Petroleum.
Sinopec to raise LNG stake
China Petrochemical Corp (中國石化), Asia’s biggest refiner, agreed to pay US$1.1 billion to increase its stake in an Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) development led by ConocoPhillips and Origin Energy Ltd. Sinopec Group, as the company is called, signed a binding accord to boost its holding in the Australia-Pacific LNG venture to 25 percent from 15 percent, Sydney-based Origin said in a statement yesterday. The state-owned Chinese company will buy a further 3.3 million tonnes of LNG annually for 20 years, taking its total commitment to 7.6 million tonnes a year.