Marconi in takeover rumors
Marconi Corp, the UK phone-equipment maker, has held talks with European phone companies including Siemens AG and Ericsson AB about a possible ?650 million (US$1.2 billion) takeover, the Sunday Telegraph reported, citing an unidentified executive close to the company. Siemens, Ericsson, France's Alcatel SA and Asian manufacturer ZTE Corp may be interested in acquiring Marconi, though China's Huawei Technologies Co (華為技術) is the likely buyer, the Telegraph said. Marconi is negotiating with a number of companies and a deal isn't complete, the executive told the newspaper. Marconi's US business could be sold separately as the US government may not want a Chinese company developing its federal telecommunications network, the newspaper cited an unidentified analyst as saying.
Airbus mulls plant in China
European aircraft maker Airbus is considering setting up a manufacturing plant in China, building on its relationship with one of the world's leading aviation markets, state media reported yesterday. The plan was being mulled to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Airbus's entry into China this year, Xinhua news agency said on its Web site. Airbus has sold more than 200 planes in China since 1985 and so far this year has received orders for 59 aircraft from five Chinese airlines, accounting for 20 percent of its total orders, Xinhua said. In addition, over half of the world's 3,700 Airbus aircraft in operation have parts made in China. "Airbus said its industrial cooperation with China and its technology transfer has entered a new phase this year," Xinhua said.
DVD's successor on its way
Manufacturers of hardware and software technologies supposed to succeed DVDs have stepped up their attempts to launch their products on the market, the Wall Street Journal reported. The format, HD-DVD, is considered one of two possible next-generation DVDs. Backed by Toshiba, the technology intends providing high-definition pictures and its supporters had planned to market it at the end of the year. A rival system backed by Sony, Blu-Ray, is to be rolled out next year. But the efforts of HD-DVD supporters to market their hardware and software this year appear to fall short of initial plans. Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures will not release any HD-DVD titles, though it had intended to put out 20, the Journal quoted a source as saying.
Online travel bookings soar
Online travel bookings in Asia are set to double 2003's figures to US$16 billion by next year, according to a report by Asia's leading air ticketing and reservations company. An estimated 29 percent of regional air travel bookings will be made online by the end of this year, up sharply from 3.5 percent in the previous year, Singapore-based Abacus International said over the weekend. "These figures are very encouraging and are by no means the peak, suggesting that there is still immense growth potential in online travel," Abacus chief executive Don Birch said. The report cited the increasing ease of access to the Internet within the region and the emergence of budget carriers as major factors contributing to the online travel boom.