Industrial output falls
Officials said the nation’s industrial output fell by 1.8 percent in October compared with the previous year. The unexpectedly weak results are a blow to hopes for an early recovery in Asia’s third-largest economy. Sharp drops of 2 percent in manufacturing and 3.5 percent in mining contributed to the fall in output released on Thursday. The electricity sector grew by 1.3 percent.
China eases US cars duties
China yesterday said it would stop levying anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on certain types of cars imported from the US when the measures expire on Sunday. On Dec. 14, 2011, China started levying punitive duties on sedans and sport-utility vehicles with engines of 2.5 liters and above imported from the US. During the first 10 months of the year, 908,000 imported vehicles were sold in China, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, according to China Automobile Trading Co Ltd.
Foxconn improved: group
A labor group monitoring three Chinese factories that make iPhones and other Apple products says once-oppressive working conditions have steadily improved in the last 18 months, but more must be done to reduce the amount of overtime that employees work. The audit released on Thursday by the Fair Labor Association represents the final assessment in a process that started last year at plants run in China by Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn (富士康). The report concluded Foxconn factories in Longhua, Chengdu and Guanlan had reached virtually all the goals set out in a plan adopted last year.
Firm forecasts Web ad profit
Industry tracker eMarketer forecasts that YouTube will rake in about US$5.6 billion from ads this year, pocketing nearly US$2 billion as profit. The Google-owned online video sharing venue should net US$1.96 billion, after divvying YouTube ad revenue with partners and creators of content, in a 65.5 percent jump from what it netted last year, according to eMarketer. YouTube’s expected 1.7 percent share of digital ad revenue worldwide will top those of Twitter, Amazon.com, LinkedIn, Pandora, AOL, and Millennial Media, the market-tracker said in a released forecast.
GM to sell stake in Peugeot
General Motors (GM) on Thursday said it is selling its entire stake in PSA Peugeot Citroen, but stressed its manufacturing alliance with the struggling French automaker remains strong. GM said it is placing the 7 percent stake, or 24.8 million shares, privately with institutional investors, after holding them for less than two years. GM said its equity support for the company is no longer necessary.
Firm fails in NASA lease plan
A commercial space company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has lost a challenge over NASA’s plans to lease out one of the space shuttle’s dormant launch pads in Florida, officials said on Thursday. The company, Blue Origin, had filed a protest with the US General Accountability Office (GOA), which arbitrates federal contract disputes. The GAO said in a decision it denied the company’s protest. Blue Origin is vying against another company owned by Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and chief executive of electric car company Tesla Motors, to lease Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.