Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

CYBERSECURITY

IRS puts Equifax in review

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) suspended a US$7.25 million contract with credit reporting company Equifax Inc on Friday, after members of the US Congress complained that the tax agency had awarded a no-bid contract to the company, which recently had a massive data beach. The IRS had contracted with Equifax to validate the identity of taxpayers communicating with the agency on the telephone or through its Web site. The IRS said it suspended the contract as “a precautionary step” while it reviews the firm’s security systems.

TECHNOLOGY

Facebook ventures into food

Facebook Inc wants to be a bigger player in the restaurant game. The social network has announced a new feature that will let users buy meals through third-party delivery services like DoorDash, or directly from a group of restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Five Guys. Facebook said it has no plans to hire drivers and deliver food, but hopes the new feature will keep users on its Web site longer.

TECHNOLOGY

Uber to stay in Quebec

Uber Technologies Inc is backing down on a threat to shutter its operations in Quebec this weekend. The San Francisco-based company on Friday announced that it would not pull the plug after all because it hopes to reach a deal with the province’s new transport minister in the coming months. The company on Friday also filed its appeal against a decision by Transport for London (TfL) not to renew its license. TfL last month said it would not renew Uber’s license to operate in the city owing to public safety concerns.

STEELMAKING

Kobes scandal widens

Japan’s Kobe Steel Ltd on Friday said that a snowballing falsified data scandal had affected around 500 customers, more than twice as many as initially thought. More than 30 foreign customers were affected, including Boeing Co, Airbus SE, General Motors Co, Tesla Inc, Daimler AG and PSA Group, according to Japan’s leading Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily. However, Japan’s No. 3 steelmaker insisted that the affected products did not appear to pose a safety risk.

CHINA

Credit gauge tops predictions

China’s broadest gauge of new credit exceeded projections, signaling that the funding taps remain open, even as the government pushes to curb excessive borrowing. Aggregate financing stood at 1.82 trillion yuan (US$276 billion) last month, the People’s Bank of China said yesterday, compared with 1.48 trillion yuan a month earlier. New yuan loans stood at 1.27 trillion yuan, while the broad M2 money supply increased 9.2 percent, picking up from the prior record low.

HONG KONG

Exchange to request tax cut

Hong Kong’s exchange operator is considering asking the government to remove or reduce a trading tax on stock transactions, as part of a review of the levy, according to a person familiar with the bourse’s thinking. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) made promoting the financial services sector part of her policy platform, a stance that encouraged Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd to discuss the tax, known as stamp duty, the person said.

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