US to ease limits on Huawei
The US will soon issue licenses allowing some US firms to supply non-sensitive goods to China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為), the New York Times said on Wednesday, as high-level officials from the two countries yesterday met to resume trade talks. The licensing decisions would give much needed clarity to US companies, which have been looking for guidance since US President Donald Trump promised in late June to provide some relief to firms that did business with Huawei.
Michelin to shutter factory
Tire maker Michelin yesterday said it would close a French factory with 619 employees next year, as competition from cheaper Asian manufacturers knocks its profit margin. The company promised a “support plan” for affected employees, and said it would offer every one a chance to remain in the company in France. It would also seek out “a major public-private project” in a bid to relaunch the failing site. Michelin said 74 people who work at a factory in nearby Maine-et-Loiret, manufacturing rubber for the site in La Roche-sur-Yon, would also be affected. CEO Florent Menegaux blamed “difficulties in the market for high-end heavy-duty tires both in Europe and abroad,” coupled with “increased competition.”
Japan cutting 7-Elevens
Seven & i Holdings Co, the largest convenience store operator in Japan, yesterday said it would close 1,000 unprofitable 7-Elevens and eliminate 3,000 jobs from its other units, as the Japanese retailer continues its structural reform and cuts back on 24-hour operations. The company said it would implement new policies for its franchisees, such as reducing monthly fees. Its 7-Eleven Japan business would take a ￥10 billion (US$93 million) charge due to the new incentives for the franchisees, CEO Ryuichi Isaka said in Tokyo while announcing the company’s second-quarter results.
EU approves bad loan plan
The European Commission yesterday approved the government’s plan to reduce bad loans by up to 30 billion euros (US$33.04 billion) at the nation’s banks. Bankers close to the process last month said that they expected a green light from the EU executive to put in place the asset protection scheme that would help its banks offload the loans. The plan, known as Hercules Asset Protection Scheme, aims to bring down the amount of bad loans that are weighing on Greek banks, without distorting the market through government subsidies.
Ma tops rich list again: poll
The nation’s richest businesspeople got richer this year, despite a tariff war with the US and an economic slowdown, a survey showed yesterday. The average net worth of the richest 1,800 people rose 10 percent from last year to US$1.4 billion, the Hurun Report said. Jack Ma (馬雲), who retired last month as chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) , was No. 1 for a second year, with a net worth of US$39 billion. Ma Huateng (馬化騰), chairman of games and social media firm Tencent Holdings (騰訊), was second at US$37 billion, up 8 percent. The number of businesspeople on the list from the tech, pharma and food industries rose, while those from manufacturing declined. “Wealth is concentrating into the hands of those who are able to adapt to the digital economy,” Rupert Hoogewerf, the company’s founder and chief researcher, said in a statement.
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