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Fri, Dec 10, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Auto Industry

Honda may sue China rivals

Honda Motor Co, the first Japanese carmaker to open a plant in China, said it may sue nine Chinese automakers for copying the design of its CR-V sport-utility vehicle. Honda, which has sued two Chinese carmakers since November last year, found there are nine other companies that either make or plan to produce models that look like the Honda CR-V, spokeswoman Sachi Ito said today. The cases are the latest in a series of disputes between overseas automakers and local companies accused of copying of designs and logos. Toyota Motor Corp, Asia's largest carmaker, lost a lawsuit against Geely Group Co in November last year over the Chinese company's use of a logo resembling the Japanese carmaker's badge.

■ Hotels

Las Vegas Sands to expand

US gaming company Las Vegas Sands Inc said it wants to build six more hotels, including some with casinos, in an area of the southern Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. Las Vegas Sands opened the Sands Macau casino in May and is building the Macau Venetian Casino Resort on the territory's reclaimed Cotai area, which the company has touted as the "Las Vegas Strip of Asia." Now the gaming operator has submitted a proposal to Macau's government to build six more hotel resorts in Cotai, some of which will have casinos, Las Vegas Sands said in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing submitted on Wednesday. The company is seeking partners to finance and build the hotels and will only operate the casinos through subsidiaries, the filing said.

■ Advertising

Nike apologizes for ad

Nike has apologized for a footwear ad featuring an attack on a kung fu master which was banned by China, saying it only intended to emulate the Hong Kong martial arts movie heroes of the 1970s. China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television on Monday ordered stations nationwide to stop broadcasts of Nike's "LeBron James in Chamber of Fear" ads that it said had sparked anger and claims of offending "national feelings." In the advertisement, James, 19, a forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, makes easy work of animated enemies including a white-haired kung fu master, two women in traditional Chinese garb and the pair of dragons as he ascends the video game-like levels of the "Chamber."

■ DVD Formats

Disney chooses Blue-ray

Hollywood movie powerhouse Walt Disney has taken sides with Japan's Sony Corp in a bitter battle between studios to define a technical standard for next generation DVDs, it said on Wednesday. The house that made Mickey Mouse and its home video unit Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE) announced they would adopt Sony's Blu-ray disc format, putting Disney at odds with an array of studios supporting rival Toshiba technology. Under the tie-up with Sony for the next generation of video disc players, Disney and BVHE will release their movies non-exclusively in the Blu-ray format when it launches in North America and Japan late next year. Last month Warner Bros, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and New Line Cinema took positions in the fight, opting to endorse the HD DVD format touted by Sony rival Toshiba. The two standards are not compatible and will require consumers to choose between one system or another when buying the next generation of DVD players.

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