Japanese cars top survey
Japanese cars swept the board in a survey of the most reliable used cars yesterday, taking nine out of the top 10 places. The Toyota Corolla from 2000 to 2002, built in Derbyshire, topped the table compiled by What Car? magazine and insurer Warranty Direct. Confirming the Japanese reputation for reliability, researchers found just three faults per 100 Corollas, compared with five per 100 for the second-placed Honda CR-V. In third place were the Honda HR-V (1999-2005) and the Toyota Celica (2000-2006), both with six faults per 100. The only non-Japanese car in the top 10 was the BMW 3 Series Compact (1994-2001) at sixth. The study analyzed data from 35,000 cars, 26 manufacturers and 133 different models.
OLPC extends promotion
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program that hopes to supply developing-world schoolchildren with sub-US$200 computers has extended the promotion in which a customer buying the machine in the US or Canada automatically donates a second one to a poor country. The "Give One, Get One" program will now run through Dec. 31 instead of ending on Monday. The nonprofit spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said customers in the US and Canada will pay US$399 for two laptops, with the buyer getting one of the green-and-white, low-power "XO" machine. The other is sent to a child in countries such as Rwanda, Afghanistan and Cambodia.
China told to address gap
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is warning that China could face anti-dumping measures if it fails to take steps to narrow its huge trade gap, the Financial Times reported yesterday. The paper said Mandelson issued the warning in an interview ahead of next week's meeting in Beijing between EU and Chinese leaders. China's trade surplus with Europe rose nearly 50 percent to US$13.9 billion last month over the same month last year, Chinese data showed.
CapitaLand sets up fund
Singapore's CapitaLand Ltd, one of Asia's largest listed property companies, has established a US$600 million fund that will invest in retail mall developments in India, the company said in a statement on Thursday. CapitaLand holds a 45 percent stake worth US$272 million in CapitaRetail India Development Fund, and the remaining stakes are held by insurance firms, pension funds and corporations, it said. "We are conscious of the vast opportunities presented by India's retail real estate market, driven by the country's strong macroeconomic growth and rapid urbanization," company CEO Liew Mun Leong said in the statement.
Studios sue Chinese site
Five Hollywood studios have sued a Chinese online service and Internet cafe they accuse of offering pirated downloads of Pirates of the Caribbean and other hit films, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday. Beijing-based Jeboo.com and an Internet cafe in Shanghai face a legal showdown with Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Universal Studios, the report said. The filmmakers alleged Jeboo.com created software the cafe used to run a movie download business, and they are demanding 3.2 million yuan (US$432,000) in compensation, Xinhua said.