China nixes oil tax rebates
China has temporarily scrapped a tax rebate on oil exports that would make it more expensive to ship petroleum products overseas amid record high international crude prices, the government said yesterday. The cancellation of the 11 percent rebate will take effect tomorrow for a four month period and in effect reduces Chinese exporters' incentive to ship petrol, the State Administration of Taxation said on its Web site. Products affected are automobile gasoline and airplane fuel as well as naphtha, a cheap diesel oil, as China ships only some 580,000 tonnes of oil products a month. By contrast the nation consumed more than 300 million tonnes of oils, or roughly some 50 times more than it exports.
■ Consumer trends
Singapore has top shoppers
Women in the city-state are Asia's undisputed shopping queens with the top-earning 28 percent having at least S$1 billion (US$594 million) to spend each month, a regional survey said yesterday. Media agency OMD queried more than 3,000 women in China, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila and Singapore. Results published in the Straits Times found a monthly average of S$2,400 (US$1,500) burning a hole in the purses of each of the 450,000 Singapore women in the top-earning group. Nearly a third of the women earn more than their husbands, and 56 percent visit shopping malls or department stores at least three times a week, the most frequent for any of the markets surveyed. Across Asia, women have become careful to squirrel away their money, the survey found. Some 84 percent said it was necessary to have private savings that their husbands knew nothing about.
Yahoo promotes videos
Yahoo was to spotlight its video search service, and the clips of amateur film-makers, on its Web site beginning yesterday as part of its first "Yammys" awards, according to the US Internet company. Computer-users can visit the Yahoo Web site any time from yesterday to Sept. 12 to vote for their favorite of 15 videos that made it into the Yammys semi-finals, Yahoo spokeswoman Kathryn Kelly said. Today, vans equipped with projection gear will cruise the US cities of New York and Los Angeles to display the clips on sides of buildings and give passersby the option of voting on handheld tablets, Kelly said. Each clip is no longer than 60 seconds, and the semi-finalists were culled from nearly 1,000 original submissions, Kelly said.
Google losing out to Baidu
A survey by a Chinese Internet research group has found that Google is losing market share to its biggest Chinese rival, Web search engine Baidu.com (百度). The survey, conducted by the Beijing-based China Internet Network Information Center, reported that Baidu.com Inc boosted its market share in Beijing by 10.8 percentage points to 52 percent. Google Inc's share was at 33 percent, as the US Internet search engine kept its customer base steady while the overall market grew, according to the survey, seen yesterday on CNNIC's Web site. China's Internet population hit 103 million in June, second only to the US, according to CNNIC. The survey found that combined, Google and Baidu held 80 percent of the market in Beijing and Shanghai, and 75 percent in Guangzhou. The three cities account for the lion's share of Chinese Internet use, it said.