Sharp profits take tumble
Profit at Sharp Corp fell 6.9 percent in the six months to Sept. 30 because of the costs of opening new TV plants and soaring prices of raw materials for solar cells, Japan's leading manufacturer of liquid crystal display TVs said yesterday. The Osaka-based company said group net profit fell to ¥43.3 billion (US$263 million) for the period from April to last month, down from ¥46.5 billion a year ago. First half sales totaled ¥1.641 trillion (US$14.4 billion), up 12 percent from the ¥1.466 trillion for the same period a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
Steering wheel unveiled
Japanese electronics giant Hitachi has developed a steering wheel that enables the driver to use his or her fingers as switches for the engine, car stereo and navigation system. The steering wheel is equipped with a tiny device that reads the driver's finger veins. "If I place my index finger on this reader, it recognizes it's me. If I put the finger again, it starts the engine," Masahide Hayashi of Hitachi's sensor design department explained at the Tokyo Motor Show in Chiba, near the capital. "When the middle finger is on the device, it sends a command to play music I registered in accordance to my taste. The ring finger can start the navigation system," he said.
Ericsson earnings drop
Ericsson, the world's leading mobile networks maker, presented sharply lower third quarter earnings yesterday in line with last week's profit warning that shocked the market. Ericsson also announced that its chief financial officer, Karl-Henrik Sundstroem, was leaving the company with immediate effect, amid fierce criticism in the media that management was not on top of the situation. The Swedish group reported a net profit of 4 billion kronor (US$620 million) and an operating profit of 5.6 billion kronor, both down by 36 percent from a year ago. Ericsson, like its competitors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks, are seeing growing competition from Asia, such as China's Huawei (華為), which is pressing margins.
Shinsei slashes forecasts
Japan's Shinsei Bank Ltd yesterday slashed its earnings forecasts for the year because of exposure to the troubled US subprime housing mortgage sector. It is the latest Japanese bank to report effects from the subprime crisis, which has rattled global markets and raised fears of a liquidity squeeze. Shinsei now expects to post net profit of ¥62 billion (US$542 million) in the year to March 31, down by ¥10 billion or nearly 14 percent from the previous projection, a statement said. Shinsei said it was taking the action due to revisions by an affiliate and "prudent provisioning related to our exposure in the US residential mortgage market."
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South