Chips sales rise 37%
Semiconductor sales worldwide surged in May to their highest level in three and a half years, helped by rising demand for cellular telephones that can take photos and use the Internet. May sales totaled US$17.3 billion, a jump of 37 percent from a year earlier and the most since December 2000, the California-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said in a statement. The gain from April was 2.1 percent, it said. The association expects "strong growth'' for the rest of the year," SIA president George Scalise said in the statement. The biggest increase, 54 percent, came in the Asia-Pacific region. European sales rose 29 percent and North America gained 27 percent, SIA said. Sales in Japan increased 25 percent.
■ LCD Panels
Sony, Samsung in talks
Sony Corp is in talks with joint venture partner Samsung Electronics Co about making larger liquid-crystal display panels used for televisions, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing Sony's vice president Ken Kutaragi. Sony, the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker, is building a plant with Samsung Electronics to make so-called seventh-generation sized LCD panels. The two companies may make larger eighth- generation panels, the newspaper said, citing Kutaragi. South Korea's S-LCD Corp, the two companies' joint venture, is aiming to start production of the seventh-generation panels in the three months ending June 30 next year. The panels will exceed the largest size currently produced at a Sharp Corp plant in Mie Prefecture, Japan.
Thailand approves airport
Thailand's transport ministry has given the green light for a second airport on the resort island of Samui aimed at coping with surging tourist arrivals, according to a report yesterday. Promoting the popular island as a world-class tourist destination would require building a new airstrip to accommodate the 6,000 visitors per day expected during the high season, deputy transport minister Vichet Kasemthongsri said in The Nation newspaper. "The feasibility of building a second airport now depends on the environmental impact study of the past year," Vichet said in the English-language daily. The palm-fringed island in the Gulf of Thailand is currently served by a privately-run airport operated by domestic carrier Bangkok Airways.
S Korea to arrest unionists
Arrest warrants have been issued for five unionists leading a strike that has hamstrung the US-owned KorAm Bank for the past 10 days, police said yesterday. The management and the union held marathon talks overnight into early yesterday but the prospects of a breakthrough appeared gloomy as both sides stuck to their positions. "We obtained the warrants late Saturday from the Seoul district court," a police official told reporters. The five were accused of playing leading roles in illegally occupying the Seoul headquarters of the bank, police said. The strike is the longest such action by a bank union in South Korea's history. KorAm workers voted for an indefinite strike on June 25 that has shut down nearly 80 percent of KorAm's 225 branches, with about 2,600 of the 3,828 employees joining the walkout.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.