Industry slumps 1.9 percent
Industrial output in November unexpectedly fell for the third consecutive month, data showed yesterday, adding to signs that Europe’s largest economy shifted into a lower gear in the final quarter of last year. Industrial output was down 1.9 percent, way below a Reuters forecast of an increase of 0.3 percent, Federal Statistics Office data showed. The figure for October was revised down to a fall of 0.8 percent from a previously reported drop of 0.5 percent. Factories churned out fewer intermediate, capital and consumer goods, according to more detailed data published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Output in the construction industry also decreased, as did production in the energy sector. The ministry pointed to special factors including an unusually high number of bridge days around national holidays and problems faced by the car industry as it adjusted to new emission standards.
China to outpace Germany
Chinese inventors last year received a record number of US patents and are on pace to overtake Germany in the No. 4 position of top recipients, an analysis of filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office showed. Inventors working for Chinese companies were issued 12,589 US patents, up 12 percent on the year and a 10-fold increase over the 1,223 they received a decade ago. The US still dominates the field, with 46 percent of the 308,853 US utility patents issued last year, followed by companies based in Japan, South Korea and Germany. Six of the top 10 recipients of patents are US companies, including top recipient IBM Corp and chip rivals Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc, as well as Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Ford Motor Co. The four Asian companies in the top 10 were Samsung Electronics Co at No. 2, Canon Inc, LG Electronics Inc and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電).
Boycott hitting Apple: bank
Chinese consumers might be staging an “informal boycott” of US products that is hitting Apple Inc’s iPhones, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said. If that is the case, it would help explain Apple’s warning last week that revenue from China was taking a hit, even as Chinese rivals post steady shipments. According to a survey conducted by equity research specialists, consumers in China and India are showing less interest in upgrading to an iPhone and more interest in upgrading to Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Samsung products, the bank said. Apple sales might also suffer from a general redirection of Chinese demand away from US products, the report said.
Daimler auto trucks eye US
Daimler AG this year is to start selling a heavy-duty truck in the US that is able to brake, accelerate and steer at all speeds on its own. This would coincide with the planned launch of Tesla Inc’s Semi truck, which would stoke competition at a time when demand in North America is forecast to soften. The updated Freightliner Cascadia, which would also have lane-keeping assistance, fuses information from radar and cameras to enable partially autonomous technology, Daimler said on Monday at the CES conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. To maintain its lead over Volvo AB and Paccar Inc, the manufacturer said it plans to within a decade offer highly automated vehicles on some routes.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s