Infineon to close plant
Semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies AG said yesterday it has agreed with a labor union to close an outdated memory-chip plant in southern Germany in 2007. Infineon said it struck the deal with the IG Metall union on the fate of its Perlach plant near Munich during overnight talks. The company said it had increased its compensation package for affected staff after IG Metall, which had threatened to call strikes, had stopped asking for the closure to be delayed and reduced demands for retraining. It didn't give details of the agreement, which still needs approval in a workers' vote. The company has said it plans to shift jobs from the 20-year-old plant, which employs about 800 people, to other factories to cut costs and because its equipment is not able to produce the new generation of chips.
Microsoft to hire in Asia
US software giant Microsoft Corp plans to add 1,200 employees to its Asia-Pacific workforce over two years and make an aggressive push into the small and medium-sized enterprise market, the software giant's new regional head said in report published yesterday. "We're bullish about Asia and are excited to see Asian economies rise back to rapid growth," Eduardo Rosino told Singapore's Business Times. The world's largest software company currently has 6,000 employees in the region and operates its Asia-Pacific headquarters out of Singapore. "The PC [personal-computer] markets in India and Southeast Asia are growing very fast," Rosini, 38, was quoted as saying.
Hitachi announces losses
Japanese electronics giant Hitachi said yesterday that it plunged into the red in the first half of its financial year and cut its full-year forecast, hit by a slump in sales of digital products. Hitachi incurred a net loss of ¥10.95 billion (US$94 million) for the six months to September, compared with a profit of ¥41.16 billion a year earlier. Pretax profit dropped 68.8 percent year-on-year to 21.2 billion yen on sales which grew 1.9 percent to ¥4.4 trillion. "The Electronic Devices segment saw revenues decrease as sales of LCDs [liquid crystal displays] declined due to stiffer competition," Hitachi said in a statement. "The digital media and consumer products segment recorded lower revenues due to falling prices," it said. Monitoring the dismal results for the first half, Hitachi downgraded its net profit forecast for the full year to March next year to ¥20 billion from its earlier estimate of ¥55 billion.
■ Consumer prices
London most expensive
London is the most expensive major European city, with the French capital Paris coming in second, according to the results of a new study published here yesterday. A standard basket of 250 goods and services bought in London cost 5.3 percent more than the average throughout the 12 countries which use the common euro currency, according to the Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein report. Paris came second, 1.3 percent above the eurozone average, followed by Frankfurt (+0.8 percent) and Brussels (-0.4 percent), according to the results which were published in yesterday's Financial Times daily. Madrid, which came in at 2.5 percent cheaper than the eurozone average, was pronounced the cheapest major European city.
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
The nation marked its 49th day with no new domestic COVID-19 cases yesterday, and there were no new imported cases, but that does not mean the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) can relax its attention, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said yesterday in Tainan as he and a team of health officials wrapped up a weekend visit to the city. The visit is part of the center’s efforts to promote domestic travel under the “new disease prevention lifestyle.” Among the 442 confirmed cases, 423 have been released from isolation and 12 people remain hospitalized, Chen
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest