UPS moving to Shanghai
United Parcel Service Inc, the world's biggest package delivery company, is moving its China headquarters to Shanghai from Hong Kong to be closer to its customers, the Shanghai Daily reported. The new head-quarters in China's biggest commercial city will oversee business for China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, the paper said, citing Perry Chao, United Parcel's senior vice president for China. The US company's sales in the country rose 40 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier, the paper said, without giving details. UPS, DHL Worldwide Express and other delivery companies are taking advantage of the growing freight market in China, where demand for air shipments is increasing, the paper said.
US penalizes companies
The US has imposed penalties on five Chinese companies and one in North Korea for selling weapons technology to Iran, the US Department of State said Thursday. The penalties involve prohibitions on trade with the US, as well as assistance. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said at least four of the Chinese companies had already been sanctioned previously for transfers of technology in violation of US non-proliferation laws. The companies were identified as: Taian Foreign Trade General Corp, Zibo Chemical Equipment Plant, Liyang Yunlong Chemical Equip-ment Group Co, China North Industries Corp and China Precision Machinery Import/Export Corp. The North Korean entity is Changgwang Sinyong Corp. The penalties were imposed under the Iran Non-Proliferation Act.
■ Music industry
Nielsen compiles data
The recording industry is getting a clearer picture of how much people are paying to download music over the Internet. Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks music sales at stores, has begun compiling weekly data on the sale of permanent digital downloads from online retailers such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, Pressplay, MusicNet, Listen.com and Liquid Audio. The data should help define the impact of downloaded music on overall music sales, which have fallen the past three years. Record companies contend illegal file-sharing is largely to blame. "This further demon-strates that the online music marketplace has moved forward in a significant way, and this data is important to the industry," said Seth Oster, a Pressplay spokes-man. The new data will be incorporated into Billboard magazine's weekly charts, which are drawn from Nielsen information.
Camcorder accord reached
Sony Corp and three other Japanese camcorder makers will standardize specific--ations for their high-definition video recorders, which tape sound and moving pictures on mini digital videocassettes, to promote their products. Sony, Canon Inc, Sharp Corp and Victor Co of Japan, which makes the JVC brand, jointly proposed common specifications for camcorders, which they will promote in the industry, the four companies said in a statement released in Tokyo. A common standard will make high-definition recording more easily available to consumers, as special equipment is needed to record images with high quality equivalent to DVD-recorded pictures. Part of the proposed specifications are already used for Victor's "Gr-HD1" model, introduced in March, the four companies said.