Google to buy Quickoffice
Google is buying Quickoffice, the maker of a widely used mobile app for working on documents created in Microsoft’s programs for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. The deal announced on Tuesday gives Google Inc more tools to undercut Microsoft Corp, as more people get work done on smartphones and tablet computers. Quickoffice makes those devices compatible with Microsoft Office, even if the software suite is not installed on them. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Sony bosses shun bonuses
Seven Sony executives, including chairman Howard Stringer and president Kazuo Hirai, are giving up their performance-based bonus pay. The Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment company said yesterday that they were forgoing bonuses for the fiscal year through March because of the massive challenges to turn around the business. Sony did not disclose how much money was being returned. The company paid ￥224 million (US$2.8 million) in such bonuses for the fiscal year through March 2011 to eight executives.
Burger King targets Russia
Burger King is expanding its empire overseas, this time in Russia. The world’s second-largest hamburger chain said on Tuesday it had reached a deal with its franchise operator in the country to open several hundred new locations in the next few years. There are currently 57 Burger King outlets in Russia. The deal continues the Miami-based chain’s focus on expanding in emerging markets at a time when the fast-food industry is becoming increasingly saturated in the US. In the past year, 80 percent of Burger King’s new openings have been in the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
German, Austrian ratings cut
Moody’s Investors Service cut the credit ratings of six German banking groups, including Commerzbank AG, and Austria’s three largest banks, such as Erste Group Bank AG, yesterday, saying they face risks if the eurozone crisis deepens. Moody’s said German lenders face risks to the quality of their assets if the eurozone crisis deepens or the global economy slows more. For the Austrian banks, Moody’s said vulnerabilities from operating conditions in Central and Eastern Europe were the reasons for the ratings cut.
Firms eye ‘greener’ plastic
Five leading US global companies, including Coca-Cola and Ford, on Tuesday unveiled a joint effort to develop 100 percent plant-based plastics in their products, cutting the use of fossil fuels. Coca-Cola, Ford, Heinz, Nike and Procter & Gamble said they were launching a working group focused on speeding up the development and use of 100 percent plant-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. PET is a durable, lightweight plastic. All five companies use PET based on fossil fuels such as oil in bottles, apparel, footwear, and automotive fabric and carpet.
Weaker demand hits exports
The trade ministry reported flat export growth for April yesterday as weaker demand in the trade-dependent economy’s key European and US markets offset continued strong shipments to China. Malaysia exported 57.7 billion ringgit (US$18.2 billion) of goods in April, just shy of the 57.8 billion ringgit reported in April of last year.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and