Tech proposal examined
Beijing is evaluating the potential effects from a US proposal to increase control over technology exports and is to take steps to uphold the legitimate interests of companies, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said yesterday. On Monday, the US government proposed stepping up scrutiny over technology exports in 14 key high-tech areas, including artificial intelligence and microprocessor technology. A 30-day public consultation period on the proposal is under way and is to end on Dec. 19.
Inflation stays flat
Inflation stood at 1 percent last month, unchanged from the previous month, according to government data published yesterday, as the world’s third-largest economy continues its years-long struggle with deflation. The price rise was in line with market consensus, but still only halfway to the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent target. With fresh food and energy stripped out, prices rose by even less — just 0.4 percent year-on-year last month.
Factory orders fall
Orders to factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell by the largest amount in 15 months, with a key category that tracks business investment showing weakness for the third consecutive month. The Department of Commerce on Wednesday said that orders for durable goods dropped 4.4 percent last month. The drop last month was led by a huge decline in the volatile areas of commercial and military aircraft.
IKEA to cut jobs
Swedish furniture giant IKEA on Wednesday said it plans to cut 7,500 jobs worldwide by 2020, mainly office jobs, as it reorganizes to focus its business on e-commerce and smaller shops in city centers. The job cuts affect almost 5 percent of staff at Ingka Holding BV, IKEA’s parent group. IKEA is its biggest brand with 367 stores in 30 countries and 160,000 employees. The decision to cut jobs was “based on how to lead a more simple, effective and efficient” business, it said.
WTO to hear complaints
The WTO on Wednesday agreed to hear complaints from a range of countries over new US steel and aluminium tariffs, as well as complaints from Washington over retaliatory duties. The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body agreed to establish panels to review US President Donald Trump’s decision to hit a long line of countries with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium. The body is to create separate panels to hear the complaints, which have been laid by the EU, China, Canada, Mexico, Norway, Russia and Turkey.
Oil investment sought
The nation is making its first big foreign investment pitch since declaring an end to civil war, but the oil-rich nation faces hesitation from some companies that want to make sure the fragile new peace deal holds. The country is eager to make up for US$4 billion in lost revenue caused by the five-year conflict. The minister of petroleum and mining said that more than 400 international and local companies are attending this week’s Africa Oil & Power Conference in the capital, Juba. That is up from 300 who attended the initial conference last year.
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range