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Mon, May 02, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Cell phones
TV-on-phone launches

South Korea's satellite-based "TV-on-your-palm" service went into commercial operation yesterday after a four-month trial run, its operator TU Media Corp said. The service, which allows cell phones to be tuned to TV programming or other digital content via satellites, began with seven video and 20 audio channels available, TU Media said. South Korea in January became the world's second country to launch the satellite-based DMB (digital multimedia broadcasting), although it was on a test run. Japan has been offering the services since last year using its own satellite-based DMB technology. TU Media, affiliated with South Korea's largest mobile carrier SK Telecom, plans to expand the service to some 40 channels. By the year 2012, the global market for DMB phones alone is expected to be US$3 billion, according to the institute.

■ Semiconductors

New Intel CPUs to ship soon

Intel's first dual core processors are expected on the market by next month. The new CPUs with two processor cores will be called Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition, reports the Munich-based computer magazine PC Professionell. The chips will offer 2.8 to 3.2 gigahertz of processing speed. The upcoming processors represent Intel's shift to a new technology that will allow several operating systems to exist simultaneously on virtually divided machines, the magazine claims. The systems would then be able to work completely separately from one another. Intel competitor AMD is working on a similar technology, under the working title Pacifica.

■ Energy

Beijing sets up task force

China has confirmed its intention to set up a special task force to deal with its two-year-old energy crisis, state media reported yesterday. The task force, or "leading group," will be in charge of creating a uniform plan for the country's energy policies, but will try to avoid interfering in the business of the nation's oil companies, the Xinhua news agency reported. The new leading group will be based on an existing energy bureau at the commission, according to Xinhua, which did not indicate when the group would be formally set up. Reflecting the importance attached to energy issues, the task force will be headed by Ma Kai (馬凱), the minister in charge of the commission. Economic growth in China reached an eight-year high of 9.5 percent last year, with the unwelcome side effect that two thirds of the country's provinces reported energy shortages.

■ Automobiles

Hyundai shares could fall

Shares of Hyundai Motor Co. may fall as the Korean automaker suffers from rising raw material costs, a rising Korean won and "short-term labor trouble," Barron's reported. A gain in the won against the US dollar and the euro made Korean exports, including autos from Hyundai, less competitive, which cut the value of Hyundai's overseas profit in its most recent quarter, Barron's said. A turnaround in Korea's domestic auto market, which accounts for a third of the company's total sales, shows no sign of materializing, the weekly newspaper reported. Hyundai is also "entering a season of labor disputes," Barron's said. Still, those weaknesses may present a buying opportunity, Barron's said, citing Wendy Trevisani, a money manager at Thornburg Investment Management.

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