Fugitive bexecutive indicted
The former chairman of collapsed South Korean conglomerate Daewoo Group was indicted yesterday on fraud charges amounting to US$71 billion after living nearly six years abroad on the run. Kim Woo-choong, who returned to South Korea last month after fleeing the country in 1999, is accused of having falsified Daewoo's accounts to draw billions of dollars in illegal bank loans before diverting them overseas. Kim was indicted on charges of 40 trillion won (US$39 billion) in accounting fraud, obtaining 9.8 trillion won in illegal financing and diverting 23 trillion won out of the country, the Supreme Public Prosecutors's Office said in a statement.
Buffett lunch sold on EBay
A lunch for eight with billionaire investor Warren Buffett sold for US$351,100 in bidding on EBay Inc's Web site that benefited a San Francisco charity serving the homeless. A bidder going by the EBay screen name hanka3153 won the week-long auction that attracted 105 bids. Buffett, who is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc and ranks as the world's second-richest person, has hosted the lunch for as many as eight people since 2000. The auction concluded at 10pm New York time and set a record price, topping the US$250,100 paid by Greenlight Capital LLC founder David Einhorn in 2003. The proceeds benefit San Francisco-based Glide Memorial Church's work to help the homeless. The winner will share a meal with Buffett in New York or Omaha, Nebraska, where Berkshire Hathaway is based.
■ Mobile Phones
Samsung, Motorola ink pact
Samsung Electronics Co and Motorola Inc, two of the world's top three makers of mobile phones, signed a preliminary agreement to share each other's technology for wireless communication. Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung and US-based Motorola signed the agreement yesterday, Samsung said in a regulatory filing after the market's 3pm close in Seoul. Samsung spokeswoman Cho Sung In declined to comment further on the statement, which didn't provide financial or technical details because of a confidentiality pact. Motorola, the second-largest handset maker, and No. 3 Samsung may be partnering in handsets based on more advanced technologies than those on sale now to help them gain ground on industry leader Nokia Oyj, said Michael Min, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment & Securities Co.
Japan's outlook improves
Japanese manufacturers' economic sentiment about the world's second-largest economy has improved, the Japanese central bank said yesterday in its April-June Tankan survey, which strongly influences the bank's monetary policy. The latest quarterly survey by the Bank of Japan showed the diffusion index of business sentiment among big manufacturers stood at positive 18 in the June survey. The figure was 14 in the March survey. A positive number means optimists outnumber pessimists. It hit a 13-year-high of 26 in September last year. The index of major non-manufacturers was also up to positive 15 from the March survey at positive 11. The central bank's index gauges the percentage of companies reporting a pickup in business conditions, minus the percentage of companies reporting otherwise.
EXTRADITION DEAL? A former prosecutor said that the US Department of Justice might ask Taiwan to extradite the men in return for the US doing something in return The US won arrest warrants for three Taiwanese men — a former president of China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) and two engineers — charged with stealing secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. The effort to apprehend the three men — former Fujian Jinhua president Stephen Chen (陳正坤), and Ho Chien-ting (何建廷) and Wang Yong-ming (王永銘), who work for Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) — is notable because they were charged in 2018 in the first case filed under the “China initiative” of US President Donald Trump’s administration targeting trade-secret theft, hacking and economic espionage. However, legal experts have said
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
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