Nine charged for theft
South Korea charged nine people and two companies with illegally selling Samsung Electronics Co’s bendable screen technology to a Chinese rival. The CEO of a Samsung supplier and eight of his employees received 15.5 billion won (US$13.8 million) after conspiring with two representatives of the Chinese firm to transfer OLED knowhow, prosecutors in Suwon said in a statement. The names of the companies and individuals were not disclosed. The South Korean supplier transferred “3D lamination” technology and other equipment to the Chinese screen maker between May and August, violating a non-disclosure agreement with Samsung, the prosecutors said. They were caught while loading additional pieces onto a ship headed for the mainland, they said.
Go-Jek trials in Singapore
Indonesia’s Go-Jek yesterday launched a trial version of its ride-hailing taxi app in Singapore, ahead of a full entry planned early next year as it aims to take on market leader Grab. Go-Jek is in the middle of a US$500 million expansion plan beyond its Indonesian base with a focus on Southeast Asia, and has recently introduced services in Vietnam and Thailand. The Singaporean market has been dominated by homegrown tech firm Grab since it bought US-based rival Uber’s ride-hailing and food business in Southeast Asia earlier this year, ending a bruising competition.
Economy fell 0.2% in Q3
The economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter, blighted by a drop in exports and weak domestic demand. No economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast the contraction of 0.2 percent — the median prediction was for an expansion of 0.4 percent. The economy grew 2.4 percent from a year earlier. The Swiss National Bank’s most recent forecast, in September, was for growth of 2.5 to 3 percent this year. Yet recent forward-looking indicators have suggested momentum is due to slow down. The nation’s export-oriented machine, electrical and metals industry expects order growth to level off, citing signs of a slowdown in major economies.
Gas price slips below US$2
Sub-US$2 gasoline can now be found in at least one gas station in 20 US states, as the effects of the bear market in crude oil trickle down to motorists. The lowest per-gallon (3.8 liters) retail price, US$1.69, was found at a Buc-ee’s station in Denton, Texas, according to GasBuddy, a company that helps drivers find cheap fuel. The national average has fallen for seven straight weeks to US$2.53 a gallon, the lowest since March. The plunge in gasoline comes after crude futures fell by a third from last month’s peak.
Economy contracts 0.2%
The economy slid in the third quarter, missing estimates and casting doubts over the central bank’s plan to hike rates as soon as next month. GDP fell 0.2 percent from the prior quarter, but was up 1.6 percent from the same period last year, Statistics Sweden said in a statement. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted quarterly growth of 0.2 percent. The data comes on the back of falling confidence levels and disappointing retail sales, and is bound to be taken into account by the Riksbank as it decides whether to raise rates next month or wait until February. The quarterly contraction, on the back of falling household consumption, was the first decline since the second quarter of 2013.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US