Intel to launch new Centrino
Intel Corp, the world's biggest semiconductor maker, will release a new version of its Centrino laptop chips next month to win more orders from home users. The chip package will have improved sound and graphics that rival the quality found in desktop machines, Anand Chandrasekher, vice president of Intel's laptop business, said in an inter-view. More than US$5 billion worth of Centrino chips have been sold since their introduction in March 2003, Intel said this month. Intel widened its share of the laptop chip market to 85.9 percent in the third quarter from 81.7 percent a year earlier, according to Fra-mingham, Massachusetts-based researcher IDC.
eBay drops Passport support
Microsoft Corp said on Thursday that eBay Inc will soon drop support for its Passport service, originally intended to make the world's biggest software maker the gatekeeper of Web identities. But Microsoft said it will keep Passport up and running, despite the loss of one of its earliest and most important partners. eBay said in a message to users on Wed-nesday that in late January it will stop allowing them to sign on to its Web marketplace through Passport. Passport allows users to store such things as passwords and credit card information for use across the Web. "A very small percentage of eBay users regularly signed in using Passport," eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said.
Merrill Lynch eyes China
US brokerage firm Merrill Lynch & Co is in negotiations with China's Huaan Secu-rities Co Ltd to set up a China-based investment banking joint venture, local media said yesterday. The talks are in the preliminary stages and no details about the value or the structure of the deal have been released, according to a report in the First Financial Daily. The Chinese-language report was carried on the popular sina.com Web site. The companies will need approval from Chinese regulators before starting business, it said.
Hollinger misses deadline
Newspaper publisher Hol-linger International Inc said it missed a deadline to file its 2003 annual report and could be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange as a result. Chicago-based Hollinger International said it asked the stock exchange if it could extend the Thursday deadline for filing the report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The NYSE could grant Hollinger International an extension of up to three months or reject the extension request and suspend and delist Hollinger, the company said. Hollinger International said it expects to file the annual report by mid-January.
SAIC launches new company
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), China's largest automaker, has launched a new shareholding company to prepare for an eventual overseas listing, state press reported yesterday. Shanghai Automotive Group Company Ltd will have registered capital of 25.7 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion) and net assets of 39.6 billion yuan, Zhu Xiangju, a SAIC spokeswoman, said in commments published in the China Daily. Seventy percent of SAIC's assets in Shanghai-listed affiliate Shanghai Automotive Co Ltd, which includes holdings in two ventures with General Motors GM and Volkswagen, have been transferred to the new company.