Ericsson exceeds forecasts
Swedish telecommuni-cations equipment maker Ericsson reported yesterday second-quarter profit that smashed market forecasts, driven by stellar margins. Ericsson posted net profit of 5.90 billion kronor (US$ 790,104) in the April to May period, compared with a loss of 2.728 billion kronor in the same period last year. Pretax profit amounted to 7.83 billion kronor, up from a loss of 3.585 billion in the same period a year earlier and well above average market expectations of 5.360 billion. The gross margin was 47.8 percent in the second quarter, com-pared with 35.1 percent in the same period last year, and well above analysts' expectations of 44.8 percent. Second-quarter sales came in at 32.6 billion kronor, up from 27.613 billion. Orders increased to 33.1 billion from 28.3 billion.
China getting online fast
The number of Internet users in China has risen 28 percent over the past year to 87 million, and use of broadband and online commerce is soaring, the government said yesterday. The number of broadband subscribers has jumped 78.7 percent in the past six months to 31.1 million, the China Internet Network Information Center said on its Web site. China says it already has the world's second-biggest online population after the US. China aggressively pro-motes Internet use for business and education, despite an average annual income of less than US$1,000 per person. At the same time, the government tries to crush attempts to use the Internet to spread criticism of authoritarian rule, imprisoning activists for posting political material online. According to the Network Information Center, a survey found that 58 percent of Chinese Internet users planned to start shopping online in the coming year.
■ Credit-Card Debt
Joblessness drives defaults
Unemployment is the main cause of credit-card pay-ment default in Singapore, not a change in spending habits, a study by Visa International said yesterday. Singaporeans now spend more on credit cards, but have increased repayments correspondingly. Nearly 40 percent of outstanding balances on cards between September and December of last year were repaid without incurring interest, the highest since 1999. The correlation between the default and delinquency rates with unemployment "indicates that the lift in the default rates in recent times has been driven by the economic cycle rather than a fundamental change in cardholder behavior," the Visa report said. The unemployment rate rose to a high of 5.5 percent last September amid a spate of layoffs, but fell to 4.5 percent in March.
US numbers increasing
Some 44 million US workers will be telecommuting, or working from home at least on a part-time basis this year, according to a survey released this week. The survey by In-Stat/MDR released on Monday pro-jects the number of tele-commuters is expected to grow by 2008 to 51 million, with 14 million working full-time at home. The report notes that the rise has fueled growth in broadband by home users. "Companies too are supporting this movement, with some firms going so far as to sub-sidizing the equipment and service expense to allow their employees to work from home," the research firm noted.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister