Nippon Polaroid's TV plans
Nippon Polaroid KK is to enter the flat-panel television market in Japan, a news report said yesterday. The Japanese arm of US camera producer Polaroid Corp plans to launch a 32-inch model priced at about ¥100,000 (US$847) and a 20-inch model for around ¥70,000, according to Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun. The TVs will be on sale from early next month, the report said. Nippon Polaroid plans to procure the TVs from a Taiwanese manufacturer, which was not named in the report.
Overseas sales boom
Overseas markets are accounting for a higher percentage of sales for listed Japanese companies, reaching 50.6 percent on average, a report said yesterday. The figure compares with 42 percent of sales overseas in a fiscal 2001 study for the same firms, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily reported, citing April-September earnings reports released last Friday. The automobile and electrical machinery sectors saw the percentage of overseas sales rise further, in part because the weaker yen caused yen-based sales to balloon, it said. The six major automakers generated 76 percent of their sales abroad, while six major electronics manufacturers logged 51 percent of their sales in overseas markets, it said.
Pfizer in Viagra battle
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has taken a Chinese pharmaceutical company to court over infringing its copyright for its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, state media reported yesterday. The case against Guangzhou Welman pharmaceutical company was heard in a Beijing court on Thursday but a verdict was not delivered immediately, the Beijing News reported. The legal action comes after Pfizer won a court ruling upholding its China patent for Viagra in June. Pfizer had originally obtained a Chinese patent license for Viagra in 2001 but the country's patent review board, the State Intellectual Property Office, revoked the license in July 2004 following complaints by 12 Chinese pharmaceutical companies.
New law attracts interest
More than 10 foreign lenders have expressed an interest in setting up new local operations in China following the release of new rules governing foreign-funded banks, state media reported yesterday. Foreign banks which have shown an interest in transferring operating branches into locally registered corporations include HSBC, Standard Chartered and Hang Seng Bank, the China Daily said. The new rules will allow foreign banks access to the local currency retail market and subject them to the same regulatory requirements as that of local banks.
Search rivals join forces
Internet search rivals Google, Yahoo and Microsoft formed an alliance on Thursday to support a shared standard regarding how Web sites are pinpointed for their indexes. The "joint initiative" was intended to make it easier for Web masters to let Internet search engines know what their online pages contained, according to Google. Search engines could use the information gathered in the "Web crawl" process to better tailor results for their users. Yahoo and Microsoft announced they would each support Google's "Sitemaps 0.90" protocol instead of using different standards for submissions by Web masters.