China's growth picks up
China's economy picked up speed in the first quarter, growing 11.1 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, the government said yesterday. Growth in the world's fourth-largest economy reached 10.7 percent last year and ran at 10.4 percent in the three months to December. The government has set a growth target of 8 percent for this year as a whole. The National Bureau of Statistics said the main measure of inflation, the consumer price index (CPI), rose 2.7 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier. CPI in March alone was up 3.3 percent, suggesting a pick up in price pressures.
US iPhone launch in June
The iPhone, Apple Inc's first mobile handset, is on schedule to hit the US market at the end of June, a senior executive with AT&T Inc said on Wednesday. The firm's wireless unit has an exclusive US deal to sell the highly anticipated new handset. "Our expectations are good. Our testing has been good," said AT&T chief operating officer Randall Stephenson. "The iPhone is on target to launch in June." There had been speculation on some blogs and reports that the iPhone could be delayed due to technical issues. Stephenson said more than 1 million customers have said that they would like to buy one of the phones when they're available for purchase.
Essar buys Minnesota Steel
India's Essar Global announced it would acquire US-based Minnesota Steel for an undisclosed amount in its second takeover of a North American firm this week. Minnesota Steel plans to set up a steel plant with an annual capactiy of 2.5 million tonnes when completed at an estimated cost of US$1.65 billion, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter. Essar said on Monday that it would buy Canadian steelmaker Algoma for US$1.58 billion to tap business opportunities in North America. Essar Global has interests in steel, oil, communications, shipping and construction.
LG goes into the red
South Korea's LG Electronics Inc announced yesterday it swung to a loss during the first quarter to March amid sluggish display sales. The country's second largest electronics company posted a net loss of 122.6 billion won (US$132 million) during the period compared with a profit of 150.8 billion won in the first quarter of last year. Sales rose four percent year-on-year to 6.03 trillion won but operating profit dropped 9.3 percent year-on-year to 172.9 billion won, the firm said. The company attributed the quarterly loss to seasonally weak demand for flat display panels for TVs or computer monitors.
Motorola posts loss
Motorola Inc posted its first quarterly loss since 2004 on Wednesday as dismal sales continued to vex the struggling mobile phone maker. Worse still, the company said its misfortunes would continue through the second quarter. Blaming disappointing sales of mobile phones, as well as expenses to cover a legal settlement, restructuring efforts and an acquisition, the telecommunications equipment maker said it lost US$181 million, or US$0.08 per share, in the first three months of this year. That compares with a profit of US$686 million, or US$0.27 per share, during the same period a year earlier.
EXTRADITION DEAL? A former prosecutor said that the US Department of Justice might ask Taiwan to extradite the men in return for the US doing something in return The US won arrest warrants for three Taiwanese men — a former president of China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) and two engineers — charged with stealing secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. The effort to apprehend the three men — former Fujian Jinhua president Stephen Chen (陳正坤), and Ho Chien-ting (何建廷) and Wang Yong-ming (王永銘), who work for Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) — is notable because they were charged in 2018 in the first case filed under the “China initiative” of US President Donald Trump’s administration targeting trade-secret theft, hacking and economic espionage. However, legal experts have said
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012