Tesla cuts jobs in China
Tesla Motors Inc, the electric car manufacturer led by billionaire Elon Musk, said it is cutting jobs in China after a local newspaper reported the company will reduce staff by 30 percent. Tesla is to eliminate some positions as it makes structural changes to its business in China, Tesla spokesman Gary Tao said yesterday. Tao said he did not know how many jobs would be affected. The Chinese-language newspaper Economic Observer reported that Tesla would eliminate 180 of the 600 positions at its China unit because sales have not met expectations. “The purpose is to better respond to the Chinese market,” Tao said. “The team remains stable and strong.” The current personnel changes started at the beginning of the year, Tao said, declining to provide additional details. The Economic Observer said Tesla’s local sales department would cut half of its workforce, the most among all its departments, including marketing, public relations and administrative offices.
China targets counterfeits
The Chinese regulator that accused Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) of peddling fake goods is seeking tighter e-commerce rules to curb the proliferation of counterfeits. Greater oversight is needed to protect consumers and create a fairer business environment on the Web, Chinese Minister of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) Zhang Mao (張茅) said. The spread of knock-off products posed a greater challenge online than in traditional retail, he added. Zhang’s remarks came less than two months after the SAIC issued a white paper accusing Alibaba’s online malls of accepting bribes and selling fake goods. The report was part of a wave of regulatory actions targeting major companies operating in China. The Chinese government projects that e-commerce transactions could reach 18 trillion yuan (US$2.9 trillion) this year — an 80 percent increase from 2013.
EU merger veto upheld
Deutsche Boerse AG lost an EU court challenge against the veto by EU regulators of its merger with NYSE Euronext, which would have created the world’s biggest exchange. The European Commission did not make any errors of law, the EU General Court in Luxembourg ruled yesterday. The commission, the EU regulator in Brussels, in February 2012 blocked the US$9.5 billion deal it said would have created a “near-monopoly” in European exchange-traded derivatives. The commission later cleared Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s bid for NYSE Euronext. Appealing a merger decision is a challenge to the commission’s legal reasoning and does not say anything about whether companies intend to resurrect a deal. The court’s decision can be appealed one last time.
German surplus dips
Germany’s trade surplus narrowed in January as a drop in imports was outpaced by a decline in exports. The Federal Statistical Office yesterday said that exports fell by 2.1 percent in January to 96.3 billion euros (US$104.8 billion) when adjusted for seasonal and calendar variance. Imports dropped by 0.3 percent to 76.6 billion euros. The trade surplus narrowed to 19.7 billion euros in January, from 21.6 billion euros in December last year. Germany has drawn criticism for relying too much on exports and not importing enough to boost other European economies. However, it barely has a trade surplus with the rest of the 19-nation eurozone, while it has a large surplus with nations outside the EU.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
GoShare, an electric scooter sharing service provider with Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), plans to expand to Tainan next quarter in a strategic alliance with Aeon Motor Co (宏佳騰). The company currently offers its services in Taipei and Taoyuan. “Tainan is very popular among tourists. The city receives an average of 22.94 million tourists every year,” GoShare head Henry Chiang (姜家煒) told a news conference yesterday in Taipei, citing Tourism Bureau statistics. “Besides, the city has a long history of riding scooters,” he said. Each household owns an average of 2.5 scooters, he added. “Expanding presence” is one of four strategies GoShare is adopting for this