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Wed, Nov 15, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ China
Trade surplus a challenge

China's surging trade surplus is the country's main short-term economic challenge as it attempts to revamp its economy to one more dependent on consumption than investment, the World Bank said yesterday. Economy slowed slightly in the third quarter of the year, but still experienced double-digit growth as exports continued to outpace imports by a large margin, the bank said in its quarterly report on China's economy. The bank said economic growth in the third quarter of the year slowed to 10.4 percent, from 11.3 percent in the second quarter -- the fastest rate in a decade -- after tightening measures reduced investment growth.

■ Electronics

Celestica, HCL strike deal

Canada's Celestica Inc and Indian outsourcing major HCL Technologies have agreed to jointly design, manufacture and sell electronic components in a deal expected to yield nearly US$100 million for the Indian partner over the next five years. Under the deal announced yesterday, HCL Technologies Ltd will set up a new center in southern India to design electronic hardware and provide after-sales services for Celestica's customers, while Celestica manufactures and markets the products. Sales proceeds will be split depending on what each partner does. The two companies plan to set up a joint marketing team to oversee the arrangement.

■ Electronics

PS3 lacks legacy support

Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, which went on sale in Japan over the weekend leading off a global launch, can't play some of the older games for the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2, a company official said yesterday. Sony Corp had billed PlayStation 3 as compatible with the previous PlayStation machines. But Sony Computer Enter-tainment spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka said some of the 8,000 older games weren't working properly on PS3, making the wrong sounds or images, and some couldn't be played at all. He declined to give a number for the games that weren't functioning, but he said the same problem is expected when the game console goes on sale in the US on Friday.

■ Electronics

Zune makes its debut

Microsoft Corp expects wireless song and photo sharing to be the feature that helps it challenge the dominant iPod in the market for portable music players, chief executive Steve Ballmer said on Monday. The world's largest software maker yesterday launched its 30-gigabyte Zune and started selling songs to US buyers at the online Zune Marketplace, in a challenge to Apple Computer Inc's iTunes music store. The Zune sells for US$249.

■ Aerospace

Airbus ups outsourcing

The European plane maker Airbus will outsource a much larger share of the work on the proposed A350 XWB aircraft to reduce development costs for its parent company EADS, the Financial Times reported yesterday. Citing senior Airbus executives, the newspaper said that an estimated US$3.5 billion dollars worth of work could be farmed out, and that the percentage of airframe work being outsourced would increase from 30 percent to 50 percent. The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company has not yet decided to build the A350 XWB -- a twin-engine, long-haul plane designed to compete with Boeing's 777 and 787 models -- but is expected to shortly.

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