Nokia, Sanyo drop JV talks
Sanyo and Nokia said yesterday they had dropped talks to work together on a mobile joint venture, just four months after they announced the plan. After negotiations, Nokia Corp of Finland and Sanyo Electric Co of Japan decided it would be better to pursue other options, the companies said in a joint statement, without elaborating. In February, Sanyo and Nokia announced they would set up a joint venture to develop and make advanced cellphones, underlining their ambitions to grow globally in the increasingly competitive mobile market. Both sides had said they expected to sign a deal in the second quarter of this year, and the new business would start in the third quarter. But yesterday, the two companies said they would announce future plans separately for their handset businesses.
HK market nears saturation
Hong Kong has the highest mobile phone penetration rate in Asia and is near saturation point, a survey said yesterday. There are about 5 million mobile phones for the 6.9 million population of the southern Chinese territory, or 95 percent of the people between the ages of 15 and 59, according to a survey by Nielsen Media Research of media habits, lifestyles and attitudes. That compared with 93 percent in South Korea, 89 percent in Singapore and 87 percent in Australia.
China may ease foreign cap
Former US commerce secretary Donald Evans said yesterday that talks with Chinese finance officials this week gave him the impression that China will lift caps on foreign equity in provincial banks. "It appears to me that the caps on the provincial banks will move up at a quicker pace than the big five banks," said Evans after meeting several Chinese officials. China limits investments by individual foreign banks in its lenders to 20 percent of total equity, with the total for all foreign investments in any single bank capped at 25 percent.
Merger talks collapse
The long-awaited US$500 million Jet Airways takeover of domestic rival Air Sahara collapsed yesterday amid a row over the price of India's largest airline merger, according to reports. A deadline to complete the deal passed at midnight to create the country's biggest domestic carrier, controlling about half of the booming market. The failure of the deal came five months after the tie-up was first announced and both sides went to the courts over money lodged in an account designed for the merger.
Japan trade surplus surges
Japan said yesterday its trade surplus soared more than 35 percent last month to post the first rise in 17 months as growing US sales of Japanese cars reinforced signs of a strong economy. Economists cautioned, however, that Japanese exports still risked stumbling in the near future due to a potential slowdown in the US where the market has been hit hard by fears over inflation and higher interest rates. The trade surplus last month rose 35.2 percent to ¥384.9 billion (US$3.35 billion) from May last year, the finance ministry said. Exports jumped 18.9 percent to ¥5.70 trillion, topping imports which grew 17.9 percent to ¥5.32 trillion.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
‘INCREASINGLY FAVORED’: Taiwan’s ‘transparent laws and efficient courts’ as well as its financial institutions give it a major advantage to become a financial hub, Tsai said Taiwan would liberalize banking and investment rules to establish itself as a regional financial hub, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the Taiwan Capital Market Forum in Taipei yesterday. Recent world events could be an opening for Taiwan to become an international center for business investments and financial management, Tsai said at the forum, which was organized by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister publication of the Taipei Times). “We’re facing unknowns in the world right now, including the continuing impact of US-China trade tensions and the reorganization of the global supply chain after COVID-19,” Tsai said. “These bring new challenges and opportunities.” Tsai
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would