Foxconn workers riot
About 100 workers at a Foxconn Technology Group (富士康集團) plant in Chengdu, China, went on the rampage this week after a dispute in a restaurant turned violent, a Sichuan government Web site said on Thursday. Police came and detained four drunken workers overnight, it said. There were no injuries. “Foxconn is cooperating with local law enforcement authorities on their investigation into this incident,” the company said in a statement. Foxconn is Apple Inc’s main manufacturer.
Total has no Myanmar plans
The head of French oil giant Total yesterday said the relaxation of military rule in Myanmar could lead to new projects there, but that the company currently had no specific plans. Total’s chairman and chief executive officer Christophe de Margerie was to travel to Myanmar later yesterday from the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur to meet authorities and others. Total has been in Myanmar since 1992 and operates the offshore Yadana gas field that fuels power plants in Thailand.
French growth rate cut
The Bank of France cut its growth estimate for France yesterday, saying the eurozone’s second-biggest economy would now likely contract by 0.1 percent in the second quarter. The central bank previously expected growth to be essentially flat in the three months from April through this month. If the figures are confirmed it would be the first quarterly contraction since France pulled out of recession in 2009. A second contraction in the third quarter would mean that France joined other EU countries like Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain in recession.
Key interest rate frozen
The central bank yesterday froze its key interest rate at 3.25 percent for a 12th straight month despite renewed worries about eurozone turmoil. Exports declined year-on-year for a third straight month last month as Europe’s debt woes and China’s slowdown took their toll. Samsung Securities economist Ryan Oh told Dow Jones Newswires he expected a 25-basis points cut in the third quarter.
Exports fell in April
New data show that exports from Germany dropped 1.7 percent in April compared with March — a fall that followed three consecutive months of gains. The Federal Statistical Office yesterday said the nation exported goods and services worth 87.1 billion euros (US$109.5 billion) in April. In year-on-year terms, that was a 3.4 percent rise. Imports were down 4.8 in April compared with the previous month, also ending three months of increases. Imports totaled 72.7 billion euros — a 1 percent year-on-year decrease. Germany’s trade surplus slipped to 14.4 billion euros in April from March.
Facebook opens App Center
Facebook on Thursday began rolling out an App Center for mini-programs that plug offerings such as Pinterest or Draw Something into the leading social network. The App Center feature opened its virtual doors in the US with 600 programs geared for Web browsers as well as those for Apple and Android smartphones or tablet computers. Facebook’s App Center will expand globally in the coming weeks as part of a strategy to connect with its more than 900 million members on mobile gadgets.