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Thu, Dec 23, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Software

Trend Micro future's bright

Trend Micro Inc, which is to supply anti-virus software for Microsoft Corp's Hotmail e-mail service, said it may add US$50 million in sales to household computer users outside Japan next year, partly because of the agreement. "We will see an extra US$40 million to US$50 million in the consumer market outside of Japan in 2005," Steve Chang (張明正), the Tokyo-based company's chief executive officer, said yesterday in a telephone interview from Taipei. Chang declined to say how much the company, which has seen its shares almost double in the past year, will earn from the contract.

■ Copyrights

Pirates sub-contract prison

A five-year piracy investigation by Sony has discovered its popular PlayStation game consoles being assembled in a Chin-ese prison, a news report said yesterday. The inquiry has unearthed a network of at least 10 pirate operations with a production capacity of 50,000 units a day for PlayStation consoles and controllers, as well as mod-ifying chips, the Finan-cial Times said in a dispatch from Shanghai. The factories Sony identified as part of the piracy ring have been raided numerous times by the Chin-ese authorities and their owners fined in recent years, the newspaper said. How-ever, they have continued operating by setting up the sub-contracting network, it said.

■ Gaming

New consoles in demand

Nintendo Co boosted its shipment forecast for its new console amid high demand in the US and Japan. The company will now ship more than 2.8 million of its dual-screen Nintendo DS systems to North America and Japan by the end of the year, Nintendo said in an e-mailed statement. Earlier this month, Nintendo said it planned to ship as many as 2.8 million units, 800,000 more than a previous estimate, by Dec. 31. Nintendo started selling the Nintendo DS in the US in November and in Japan this month. Many retail stores have run out of the game console, which costs ?15,000 (US$143.75) in Japan and $149 in the US.

■ Production

Shin-Etsu spreads to US

Japan's Shin-Etsu Handotai Co, the world's leading silicon-wafer maker, plans to more than double production capacity for 300mm wafers, a report said yesterday. The company plans to invest a total of at least ?200 billion (US$1.9 billion) in Japan and the US to raise its combined monthly 300mm wafer pro-duction capacity in the two countries to 700,000 units in a few years, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. It will be the firm's biggest capital investment, with the hope of capturing half of the global market for 300mm wafers, from the current share of 30 percent, it said. Under the plan, Shin-Etsu Handotai will become the first Japanese company with 300mm-wafer production operations overseas, the paper said.

■ Media

Media Corp listing dazzles

The first overseas listing of a Chinese media company made a dazzling debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday, with shares of Beijing Media Corp soaring 20 percent. Beijing Media is the advertising arm of Beijing Youth Daily, the Chinese capital's second-biggest selling newspaper with a circulation of about 600,000. Beijing Media's share price closed at HK$22.7 (US$2.91), far higher than the IPO price of HK$18.95, set at the top end of the indicative range.

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