Facebook ‘home’ on Android
Facebook was to unveil its “home” on the Android smartphone yesterday, a move expected to tie the leading social network’s services tightly into mobile software. Invitations to a press event at Facebook’s main campus in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park rekindled talk of a “Facebook phone,” but analysts say the social network wants to spread roots across the Android platform. Technology news site TechCrunch predicted the announcement would be a modified version of Android with “deep native Facebook functionality” on a phone made by Taiwan’s HTC (宏達電).
Hyundai, Kia issue recalls
South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are recalling almost 1.9 million vehicles in the US to fix problems with air bags and brake light switches. The switch recall covers almost 1.7 million vehicles — most of the automakers’ model lineups from the 2007 through 2011 model years. In addition, Hyundai Motor Co is recalling about 194,000 Elantra compacts from 2011 to this year to fix an air bag problem. Spokesmen for Hyundai and Kia said on Wednesday that there had not been any crashes or injuries due to the problem.
Nissan upbeat on China
Nissan Motor Co expects sales in China to rebound within three months, as demand for Japanese vehicles recovers. Nissan’s sales in China, its largest market, fell 17 percent to 110,000 units last month and 5.3 percent last year. “We’ve seen growth in retail year-on-year in March and year to date,” Andy Palmer, an executive vice president at Nissan, told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. “When we are seeing retail growing, we can be pretty sure that within three months, we will see wholesale coming back to a position better than the previous year.”
Shell to sell Australia unit
Global energy giant Shell yesterday announced that it was selling its last remaining Australian refinery to focus on more sizeable assets abroad, a move that threatens 470 jobs. Shell Australia, the local arm of Royal Dutch Shell, said it would put its 120,000 barrel-per-day Geelong refinery in Victoria on the market in line with its new Australian strategy focusing on retail and bulk fuels.
Turkey may pick Mitsubishi
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and France’s Areva are expected to win a US$22 billion contract to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey, the Nikkei Shimbun said yesterday. Under the expected order, Mitsubishi and Areva will build four pressurized water reactors with a combined output of 4.5 million kilowatts in Sinop on the Black Sea, the newspaper said. Construction of the country’s second nuclear power plant is to begin in 2017, with the first reactor coming on line by 2023, it said. France’s GDF Suez will operate the facility, while a Japan-Turkey joint venture will sell the power to local utilities, it added.
Bertelsmann to sell RTL
German media giant Bertelsmann yesterday said it would cut its stake in television and broadcasting giant RTL by selling shares on the stock exchange. The company said the transaction would result in a significant increase of the free float in RTL Group shares, with Bertelsmann maintaining a majority of at least 75 percent. Bertelsmann currently holds a stake of 92.3 percent in RTL, with 7.7 percent in free float.