■ TelecomsNextel, Sprint may merge
US cellphone companies Sprint and Nextel are holding merger talks in a further sign of consolidation in the industry, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg news agency reported on Thursday. If successful, the new company would be the third largest cellular network in the US with 33 million subscribers, behind Verizon with 42 million subscribers and the newly merged Cingular and AT&T with 47 million customers. The combined company would have a market value of about US$70 billion, according to the reports, and would reduce the number of large US cellphone providers to four from five.
Reuters to cut 100 jobs
Reuters is to cut up to 100 jobs from news bureaux around the world as it expands its editorial operations in China and India. The financial infor-mation group said about 4 percent of its 2,300 editorial staff would be affected as it moves into the final year of a US$841 million restructuring program. David Schlesinger, global managing editor of Reuters, on Thursday told journalists via e-mail that 100 jobs would be affected. Schlesinger later told the London-based Guardian some bureaux would lose "a journalist or two," while about 50 posts would be affected by "migrating jobs" to offices in Bangalore, Toronto and Singapore. The hiring of journalists in China and India would make good most of the losses, leaving the group with "roughly" the same number of editorial staff at the end of next year, Schlesinger added.
■ Fast food
McDonald's plans move
US fast-food giant McDonald's Corp said it will move its China headquarters from Hong Kong to Shanghai early next year, a newspaper reported yesterday. "The move reflects our commitment to the mainland, our third largest market in Asia-Pacific and also one of the top 10 markets in the world for McDonald's," Marina Leung, senior director of corporate relations at McDonald's China Development Company, was quoted as saying in The Standard. Leung declined to say whether the move was prompted by Hong Kong's high operating costs, but said the company will continue to keep an office here, the report said. Leung said more details would be announced next week. McDonald's opened its first restaurant in China in Shenzhen in 1990 and has grown into one of China's most widely recognized brand names.
Bridgestone gets 7E7 deal
Boeing said yesterday that it had chosen Bridgestone to make tires for its 7E7 Dreamliner in the latest Japanese participation in the jet project, which the US aviation giant sees as crucial to its future. Bridgestone tires are already used on the Boeing 737, 747-400, 767 and 777 airplanes. "While all 7E7s will be delivered with Bridgestone tires, Boeing expects to certify a second supplier so airlines have a choice when replacing the airplane's tires," Boeing said in a statement. The Dream-liner, which is expected to make its debut in 2008, is a fuel-efficient jet which can hold 200 to 300 passengers. Its success is seen as critical for Boeing in its bitter rivalry with European consortium Airbus. Japan's biggest heavy machinery maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will invest ?80 billion (US$770 million) to build wings for the Dreamliner, with about half the funds used to set up a new factory in Nagoya, a spokesman said.