Ex-Eli Lilly workers charged
US prosecutors say three former employees of Eli Lilly and Co sent trade secrets the company valued at more than US$55 million to a competing Chinese drug company. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports an indictment unsealed on Tuesday in federal court in Indianapolis charges Guoqing Cao (曹國興) and Shuyu Li (李舒裕) of suburban Indianapolis with seven counts of theft and conspiracy to commit theft. The indictment does not name the third man. The indictment alleges Cao and Li e-mailed sensitive information about nine experimental drug research programs at Lilly to the third man when he was employed by Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co Ltd in China.
Panasonic ending plasmas
Panasonic Corp will stop making plasma television screens by early next year, a report said yesterday, as the struggling electronics giant undergoes a huge corporate overhaul. Japan’s leading Nikkei Shimbun said Panasonic will shutter production at its main plasma screen plant in Amagasaki in western Japan by the end of March as it puts the factory up for sale. The move would fall in line with a broader industry shift away from plasma units, with Hitachi and Pioneer also exiting the market in recent years. In response to the report, a Panasonic statement said nothing had been decided, but discussions about business strategy were ongoing.
Yahoo upgrades e-mail
Yahoo on Tuesday spruced up its free Web-based e-mail service as chief executive Marissa Mayer continued her quest to win users from rival Google for online tasks people tend to daily. Upgrades to Yahoo Mail rolled out to mark its 16th birthday included letting people pretty up screens with images from Flickr, a photo-sharing service owned by the California-based Internet pioneer. Yahoo also ramped the amount of digital storage space per account up to a terabyte. The new Yahoo Mail was available in English in nine countries, including Britain, India, New Zealand, the Phillipines and the US, with more countries and languages coming soon, it said.
Lagarde wants subsidy end
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde is urging governments to phase out energy subsidies as a key step to address climate change. Lagarde said on Tuesday that such subsidies, particularly for fossil fuels, only encourage the use of more energy and disproportionately benefit wealthier individuals, who can afford to use more energy, instead of the poor. Lagarde said US$485 billion is spent today globally on energy subsidies and said it should all be gradually removed. She also encouraged governments to “get the pricing right” on energy, including carbon taxes.
Yum Brands profit tumbles
KFC’s parent company Yum Brands says its profit fell 68 percent in the third quarter, as its Chinese unit struggles to recover from a controversy over its chicken supply and a bird flu scare. Results missed expectations and Yum lowered its outlook. Yum, which also owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, says net income for the quarter ended Sept. 7 fell to US$152 million, or US$0.33 per share. Excluding a writedown related to its Little Sheep chain in China, net income was US$0.85 per share. That compares with net income of US$471 million, or US$1.02 per share last year. Revenue fell 4 percent to US$3.02 billion, missing expectations of US$3.54 billion.