Microsoft cuts Xbox price
Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360 video game console was US$50 cheaper in the US yesterday, confirming fuzzy snapshots of leaked advertisements posted by bloggers late last month. The company said its most popular console, which comes with a 20 gigabyte hard drive, will cost US$349. Microsoft has been dodging questions about a console price cut since competitor Sony Corp slashed the price of its 60 gigabyte PlayStation 3 to US$499, from US$599, early last month. Nintendo Corp's Wii, the least expensive of the so-called next-generation consoles, costs US$250.
Apple updates the iMac
Apple Inc updated its iMac computers on Tuesday with a slimmer design, faster chips and glossy screens, hoping to further propel sales that already outpace the rest of the PC industry. The all-in-one desktop computers now have aluminum casings, replacing the white plastic facade that has defined the computer lineup for years. The new iMacs will come in only 50cm and 60cm versions. In the company's fiscal third quarter that ended in June, Apple shipped a record 1.76 million Macs, up 33 percent from the year-ago period, accounting for US$2.5 billion, or more than 60 percent, of the quarter's revenues.
Bull-Dog bid revamped
The US investment fund Steel Partners announced yesterday a revamped buyout bid for Japan's Bull-Dog Sauce, pushing ahead with its controversial offer despite a string of legal defeats. Steel Partners said it will lower its tender offer price for Bull-Dog Sauce to ?425 (US$3.60) per share from ?1,700 a day after Japan's top court upheld the condiment maker's right to use a "poison pill" takeover defense. The tender offer, which had been due to expire on Friday, was also extended until Aug. 22 to give investors time to respond to the revised offer, as required by law, a spokeswoman for Steel Partners said.
PetroChina mulls IPO
PetroChina Co (中國石油天然氣), China's largest oil company, could raise 40 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion) via a share sale that would be the largest initial public offer (IPO) of the year, state press said yesterday. The Beijing-based group will issue four billion shares in Shanghai at approximately 10 yuan each, accounting for about 2 percent of its enlarged share capital, the China Daily said, citing an unnamed executive at the firm. The newspaper report followed an official announcement in June that the Hong Kong-listed group would seek to sell shares in its home markets as part of plans to ramp up its expansion.
India moves to curb inflows
India has placed curbs on overseas borrowing to cut massive foreign currency flows into the economy that led the rupee to strengthen sharply against the dollar this year, officials said yesterday. The finance ministry said firms that borrow more than US$20 million from overseas must now seek central bank approval. "Henceforth external commercial borrowing [of] more than US$20 million per borrowing company would be permitted only for foreign currency expenditure for permissible end-uses," it said. "Such funds would continued to be parked overseas until actual requirement."
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