■ Stock markets
IBM to exit Tokyo exchange
IBM Corp, the world's biggest computer company, said it will voluntarily withdraw from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, citing cost considerations. IBM, based in Armonk, New York, is reconsidering its listings on stock exchanges worldwide, the company said in a release distributed to the Tokyo exchange. The company last year withdrew from the Frankfurt, Swiss and Vienna stock exchanges.
Fast battery announced
Leading Japanese electronics maker Toshiba said yesterday it has developed a light and thin prototype battery that recharges 80 percent of capacity in just a minute. The development "makes long recharge times a thing of the past," the company said in a statement, noting one minute is roughly 60 times faster than typical lithium-ion batteries. The new battery measures 62mm by 35mm and is 3.8mm thick. It also has a long life, losing only 1 percent of capacity after 1,000 cycles of discharging and recharging and can operate at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius, it said. Toshiba will put the new battery to commercial products next year.
McDonald's lures rap artists
Rap artists are accustomed to name-checking prestige car, clothing and jewelry brands in their lyrics. But if McDonald's has its way Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z and 50 Cent may soon be giving it up for the humble beef burger. The fast-food giant is reported to be launching a campaign that will offer financial incentives to rap artists who mention its Big Mac burger in their lyrics. McDonald's will not pay an upfront fee, but intends to pay the artist between US$1 and US$5 each time a track is played on the radio. The company hopes to have several such songs on the airwaves by the summer.
China's exports skyrocket
Chinese clothing exports into the US and Europe soared last month, the second month after the end of international quotas, a situation that might fuel efforts by trade groups to request limits, the Wall Street Journal said, citing numbers from China's General Administration of Customs. That month, apparel exported to the US rose 147 percent over the same month a year ago, to US$650 million, according to the newspaper. In Europe, textile exports rose to US$783 million, a 188 percent increase, the Journal said. Countries that also produce garments say that their businesses can't compete with Chinese wages, the newspaper reported. In Madagascar, about 5,000 industry jobs have been lost so far this year, the Journal said.
Case won't affect offerings
The music and film industries will continue to offer digital copies of songs and movies online for a price even if they lose a landmark Supreme Court case focusing on consumers who steal copyrighted material over the Internet, those industries' chief lobbyists said on Monday. "Consumers want a legal, hassle-free, reasonable-cost way to get their products online," said Dan Glickman, head of the Motion Picture Association of America. "There's no question you'll see a lot more opportunity for people in their homes to enjoy music and movies and other creative material."