Cellphone sales up 17%
Mobile-phone sales rose 17 percent to 180.6 million units worldwide in the first quarter from the year-earlier period, driven by consumer demand for camera phones and special offers, the San Francisco Chronicle said today. Finland's Nokia OYJ remains the world's largest manufacturer with an estimated 30.4 percent of the market in the first quarter, the newspaper said, citing a report by market research firm Gartner Inc. Motorola Inc was second with 16.8 percent, followed by Samsung Electronics Co with 13.3 percent. Siemens AG, which has been losing market share, was in fifth place, capturing 5.5 percent of the market, the paper said.
Cathay pilots drop suit
Many of the 51 Cathay Pacific pilots fired in 2001 who were suing the airline have agreed to drop their legal action in exchange for payments, the airline said yesterday. The pilots were sacked in July 2001 after cockpit crews protested over wages and scheduling, costing Cathay millions of dollars. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd spokeswoman Carolyn Leung declined to say exactly how many accepted the management's offer of 10 months' severance pay and the chance to reapply for jobs with the carrier.
■ China banking
Bank removes two officials
Scandal-riddled China Construction Bank (中國建設銀行) has removed two senior officials in a bid to present a clean image to potential investors ahead of a planned overseas share sale, state media reported yesterday. The heads of two provincial branches have left office to take the blame for financial crimes and irregularities that happened at outlets under their jurisdiction, the Xinhua news agency reported. Xinhua did not specify what irregularities had reportedly taken place on their watch. The bank has been extra sensitive to suspicions of wrongdoing after its former chairman Zhang Enzhao (張恩照) stepped down amid media reports of corruption earlier this year.
■ China economy
Futures, index possible
China may launch share index and treasury bond futures to make it easier for investors to hedge risk, state media reported yesterday. The go-ahead for financial derivatives will depend on how well the market develops for existing futures in a limited range of commodities, Xinhua news agency said, citing the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). While the CRCS is warming to the idea of futures, it plans to keep tight controls on the industry, vowing to improve supervision, according to Xinhua.
Mitsubishi wins contract
Mitsubishi Corp, Japan's biggest trading company, won a US$3.4 billion contract to build a light-rail network in Dubai, the first urban commuter metro in the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms where record oil revenue is spurring growth. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi will lead a group of companies that includes Japan's Obayashi Corp and Kajima Corp to build the project, digging a 9.7km-long tunnel, laying almost 72.4km of rail line through the city. "We are very excited about this project and what it will bring to Dubai," Qassim Sultan, director of Dubai Municipality, said at a press conference in Dubai yesterday.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no