FDI falls, but exports rise
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China fell again last month and government spokesman Shen Danyang (沈丹陽) said yesterday it was too early to forecast a recovery in trade despite a 9.9 percent rise in exports last month. The decline in FDI added to mixed signals about the health of China’s economy following Thursday’s report that growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the third quarter. Retail sales and factory output improved, prompting suggestions a recovery might be taking shape. FDI fell 6.8 percent from a year earlier to US$8.4 billion, the Ministry of Commerce reported. FDI includes investment in factories and other assets, but excludes shares and other financial assets.
Court upholds tablet verdict
Britain’s Court of Appeal has backed a judgement that Samsung Electronics Corp’s Galaxy tablet computer is “not as cool” as Apple’s iPad — and therefore does not infringe Apple Inc’s rights. The panel’s upholding of the findings of a lower court endorses the judgement, which made headlines around the world when it was handed down in July. Judge Colin Birss had then gushed over Apple’s design, while knocking back the company’s case against its rival. On Thursday, the Court of Appeal agreed unanimously with Birss, with Judge Robin Jacob ordering Apple to publicize the court rulings to make sure consumers knew that Samsung had not copied its design.
NEC to return to profit
Japanese information technology firm NEC Corp said yesterday it has revised its half-year forecast from a loss to a healthy net profit, with reports saying demand for Apple Inc’s iPhones was helping the company. For the first six months to last month, NEC now predicts a net profit of ￥8 billion (US$100 million), compared with its earlier forecast of a net loss of ￥24 billion. It expects an operating profit of ￥47 billion on sales of ￥1.45 trillion, against its previous forecast of a ￥1 billion profit on sales of ￥1.4 trillion.
A123 wins approval for loan
A123 Systems Inc, the US electric-car battery maker that filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, won court approval to borrow as much as US$15.5 million from Johnson Controls Inc while it prepares to sell its assets. A123 is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 30 to seek approval of the remainder of the US$72.5 million loan. Wanxiang Group Corp (萬向集團), China’s largest autoparts maker, plans to bid for assets of bankrupt A123, a lawyer for the Chinese company said. Wanxiang had planned to invest as much as US$465 million in A123, giving the Hangzhou-based company a stake of as much as 80 percent, A123 said in an Aug. 16 statement.
Google, Samsung unveil PC
Google Inc and Samsung Electronics Corp are introducing a lightweight laptop computer with a price similar to smaller tablet computers. The computer unveiled on Thursday sells for US$249 and runs on an operating system revolving around Google’s Chrome Web browser. Like other so-called Chromebooks, the laptop does not have a hard drive. The low-priced laptop represents Google’s latest challenge to the Windows operating system used in most PCs. It goes on sale early next week, just days before Microsoft Corp releases Windows 8. Most of the PCs running on Windows 8 are expected to sell for between US$500 and US$1,000.