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Sat, May 15, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Retailing

Direct selling green-lighted

China is preparing to lift its ban on direct selling and plans to issue a draft regulation by September, state press reported yes-terday. "Illegal pyramid selling will face a serious crackdown while legitimate direct selling companies from home and abroad will receive encouragement and support from the Chinese government," said Deng Zhan, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Commerce's Foreign Investment Administration. China imposed a ban on direct sales in 1998 after numerous fraud scandals. Ten foreign-funded direct selling companies such as Amway and Avon were allowed to continue opera-ting but had to shift promo-tion of their products to retail outlets, the China Daily said. The stop-gap measures are set to come at the end of this year, in line with promises China made on its accession to the WTO.

Richard Holwill, vice-president of Alticor Inc, Amway's parent company, was quoted by the news-paper as saying the deregu-lation followed China's commitments to the WTO.

■ Cameras

Digital sales to soar

Worldwide unit shipments of digital cameras will exceed 100 million units in 2008, from an expected 68.6 million units this year, mar-ket researcher IDC said. Global shipments of digital single-lens reflex cameras, or models favored by pro-fessionals, will be 2.1 million units this year and reach 6.6 million units in 2008 as digital SLRs replace film-based SLRs, Christo-pher Chute, senior analyst at IDC, said. Shipments of digital SLRs will be driven by sub-US$1,000 price points, legacy users of Nikon Corp and Canon Inc models, and new users interested in developing photography as a hobby, Chute said.

■ Telecoms

NTT DoCoMo gets new boss

NTT DoCoMo Inc named executive vice president Masao Nakamura as its next chief executive officer, replacing Keiji Tachikawa. Nakamura, 59, will be charged with reversing market-share losses at the world's second-largest mobile-phone operator, said Norio Wada, president of DoCoMo parent Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. at a press conference in Tokyo. Nakamura takes the reins at DoCoMo as the market leader is losing ground to rival KDDI Corp's phone network and is predicting sales to decline in the business year ending March 31. Under Tachi-kawa, DoCoMo pioneered

i-mode, the world's first wireless Internet service, and FOMA, the first so-called third-generation network for faster access to games, music and video on a handset.

■ Automakers

Mitsubishi barred

Japan's National Police Agency has barred Mitsu-bishi Motors Corp and its truck affiliate from bidding for police orders for 11 months following allega-tions that company officials covered up defects which caused the wheels to come off, a news report said yesterday. The measure, which took effect on Thursday, prevents Mitsu-bishi Motors and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp from selling vehicles to the agency, Kyodo News agency said. The decision comes after seven former Mitsu-bishi executives were arrested earlier this month on suspicion they falsified a report on an accident in 2002 in which a wheel flew off a truck and killed a woman. Japan's Transport Ministry has also taken a similar step.

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