Lotte chair wins final appeal
The South Korean Supreme Court yesterday upheld a suspended jail term for Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin over a sprawling corruption scandal that brought down former president Park Geun-hye. Shin was jailed for 30 months in February last year for providing 7 billion won (US$6.2 million) to a foundation controlled by Park’s secret confidante in return for government favors. However, he was released in October last year after an appeals court reduced his sentence to a suspended jail term, which the Supreme Court upheld.
GM, union reach accord
General Motors Co (GM) and the United Auto Workers on Wednesday reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, clearing the way for a union vote yesterday on whether to continue a more than monthlong strike. The accord includes US$9 billion in investment in US plants, signing bonuses exceeding the US$8,000 workers got four years ago, 3 percent pay raises in some years of the contract and 4 percent lump-sum payments in the others, people familiar with the matter said.
IBM Q3 revenue disappoints
International Business Machines Corp (IBM) on Wednesday reported third-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ estimates, with the long-awaited revenue infusion from Red Hat failing to compensate for continued declines in other parts of its business. Total revenue was US$18 billion in the three months that ended on Sept. 30, down 3.9 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Analysts had forecast US$18.2 billion. It marked the fifth consecutive quarter of shrinking sales at IBM.
US, OECD said near pact
Washington is inching toward an agreement with the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on taxing global tech giants, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday. A resolution would ease long-standing transatlantic friction over imposing taxes on tech multinationals, the largest of which are US-based, but operate worldwide. “We don’t yet have an agreement, but we are getting closer in that direction,” Mnuchin told reporters.
Inequality hits highest
The nation’s income inequality reached its highest level last year, data released on Wednesday by the Institute of Geography and Statistics showed. The so-called Gini coefficient used to measure inequality is at a level just above that registered in 2012, it said. Last year, the richest 10 percent of Brazilians accounted for 43.1 percent of national income, up from 41.4 percent in 2015, the institute said. The poorest 30 percent of earners saw their incomes fall from 2017, it said.
IMF warns on African debt
Rising debt levels in Africa pose an increasing risk to the region’s economies, especially with increasing borrowing from China, the IMF said on Wednesday. IMF analysis shows “more than a dozen countries that are either in distress or at high risk of debt distress,” said Evan Papageorgiou, of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department. “In a lot of low-income countries, particularly a lot of Sub-Saharan African countries, the issue of debt is becoming more and more pressing,” he said.
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