■ Telecoms \nBluetooth shades planned \nMotorola Inc, the world's second-largest mobile-phone manufacturer, and Oakley Inc plan to make sunglasses that communicate remotely with electronic devices. Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola will install Bluetooth technology, which allows machines to speak to each other without a wire, in Oakley-designed sunglasses, the two companies said in a statement yesterday. Details of the first models from the joint venture are expected by the middle of this year, the companies said. \n■ Automakers \nChina expects sales growth \nBoth production and sales of vehicles in China are forecast to rise about 10 percent year-on-year in 2005 to about 5.6 million units, state-run media reported yesterday, citing the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The association reported that China's total vehicle output climbed 14 percent over a year earlier to 5 million units, with passenger car production rising 12 percent to 2.3 million units. Total vehicle sales were up 15 percent, also at 5 million units, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Though still robust by international standards, that growth outlook is anemic compared with the 75 percent jump in passenger car sales in 2003 and nowhere near the 15 percent increase in sales last year. \n■ Internet \nNapster touts growth \nOnline music-swapping pioneer Napster on Thursday reported having some 270,000 subscribers to its fee-based music service as of late last year, after just over a year in operation. Napster said the figure, which represents a 50 percent increase in subscribers from the previous quarter, "makes Napster the fastest-growing music subscription service in the industry." The firm began trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week. "These results, combined with industry analysts' projections, continue to support our belief that the future of digital music is subscription services," the company said, adding: "We expect to continue to drive very substantial subscriber growth in 2005." \n■ Telecoms \nNokia overtakes Ningbo \nNokia Oyj, the world's largest mobile phone maker, overtook Chinese rival Ningbo Bird Co to gain the biggest share of China's cellular handset market last year, Japanese researcher Fuji-Keizai Co said. Nokia secured the No. 1 position with a 12 percent market share, the Tokyo-based research group said in a release yesterday. Motorola Inc had 11 percent. Ningbo Bird, China's biggest mobile phone maker, declined to No. 3 with 10 percent after taking the top spot in 2003. The number of mobile phone users in China is expected to rise 14 percent to 390 million this year from 343 million previously, the group said. \n■ Cosmetics \nHutchison set for top spot \nHong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa is set to become the world's largest cosmetics retailer with the expected announcement later yesterday of its purchase of the French perfume chain Marionnaud through its subsidiary AS Watson. Late Thursday, a trade union official revealed that a deal had been reached for the purchase of Marionnaud and its 1,280 retail outlets throughout Europe. Sources close to the deal say the purchase price will be 346 million euros (US$456 million) or 21.80 euros per Marionnaud share. AS Watson is to assume its debt of 459 million euros.
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
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus