Partners plan budget hotels
Malaysia's Tune Hotels.com said yesterday it had set up a US$50-million joint venture with the Dubai government and a Singaporean business tycoon to open 30 budget hotels in Southeast Asia. The joint venture will expand the no-frills model of Tune Hotels.com, which was founded by a group of investors including AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes, and aims to open hotels under the Tune Hotels.com brand in popular Southeast Asian destinations over the next 24 months. Offering a bare-bones service and an Internet-based reservations system, the Tune Hotels.com Web site said room rates start from 9.99 Malaysian ringgit (US$2.85) a night excluding taxes.
Artprice strikes rights deal
French art auction database Artprice.com said it had struck a ground-breaking agreement on digital rights management paving the way for it to put images online, sending its shares sharply higher. The company said on Monday the agreement with author rights-management group ADAGP would open the way for it to launch a new subscription service in September using a database of 370,000 artists' paintings and other art works. "This is the first time anyone has done a contract like this. It's revolutionary," Artprice chairman and CEO Thierry Ehrmann said. "It shows you can have a digital economy while respecting authors' rights."
Boeing lifts list prices
Boeing Co has raised list prices about 5.5 percent for all of its airplanes, including the 787 Dreamliner set to debut next month, to keep up with the costs of labor and materials. The price increase is "generally consistent with the inflation rate for manufactured goods," Boeing spokesman Jim Condelles said. He said rising labor costs were a bigger factor in the price hike than the cost of raw materials.
Wahaha to sue Danone
China's largest drink maker, Wahaha Group (娃哈哈), confirmed yesterday it intends to sue its French partner Groupe Danone for up to 5 billion euros (US$6.7 billion) for conducting illegal business. "We will countersue Danone, asking for 2 billion to 5 billion euros in damages," the company said in a statement first issued on Monday. It did not specify where or when Hangzhou-based Wahaha would sue the French firm it has partnered with since 1996. Danone and Wahaha are in the midst of a bitter feud in which the French firm has alleged the Chinese drinks giant set up 20 independent companies selling products identical to those sold by the joint venture.
COSCO shares soar on debut
China's flagship shipping firm, COSCO Holding (中國遠洋控股), jumped 83 percent on its trading debut in Shanghai yesterday after raising net proceeds of 14.88 billion yuan (US$1.96 billion). COSCO shares opened at 15.52 yuan on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, in line with broker estimates, against its IPO price of 8.48 yuan. The opening represented a 40-percent premium to Monday's close of its Hong Kong-listed H-shares of H$11.40 (US$1.46). The offering by COSCO attracted strong interest from investors, pulling subscription funds of 1.63 trillion yuan for the offering of 1.784 billion A-shares or 20 percent of its enlarged share capital.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
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
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be