AP, SAN FRANCISCO and SUNNYVALE, California
Microsoft's big bet on Facebook's online social network isn't stopping chairman Bill Gates from promoting other popular Internet hangouts.
Gates is helping out LinkedIn Corp's online professional network by setting up a profile on the service and posing a question to help draw more attention to a makeover of the Web site's front page.
The question, scheduled to be posted yesterday, will solicit suggestions on the best way to encourage more young people to pursue careers in science and technology.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn will encourage its 19 million members to try out a new tool that will let them broadcast their daily activities to their connections. The "status" feature copies one of the top applications on Facebook's site, which revolves around a more playful premise than LinkedIn's buttoned-down atmosphere.
Gates plans to use LinkedIn's status feature, although he decided against listing "trying to buy Yahoo" as his current activity. He instead will start off by letting everyone know "Bill is checking out LinkedIn."
The decision to take a closer look at LinkedIn might please a few industry analysts who have argued Microsoft would be better off buying several up-and-coming Internet startups like LinkedIn instead of pursuing its current bid to acquire slumping Yahoo Inc for more than US$40 billion.
Although LinkedIn is frequently mentioned as an attractive takeover target, the Mountain View-based company so far has indicated it is more likely to make an initial public offering of stock during the next year or two.
LinkedIn spokeswoman Kay Luo declined to comment on Microsoft's possible interest.
Separately, Yahoo is facing seven shareholder lawsuits alleging the slumping Internet pioneer bungled its response to Microsoft's unsolicited takeover bid.
Microsoft late last year invested US$240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Palo Alto-based Facebook Inc, whose 66 million members make it the Internet's second largest social network behind News Corp's MySpace.
The Sunnyvale-based company provided a breakdown of the suits in an annual report filed on Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The documents didn't provide any new information about Yahoo's attempts to fend off Microsoft.
Yahoo's board believes Microsoft's offer is insufficient. But Microsoft has stood firm and is now preparing to overthrow Yahoo's 10-member board, which includes the company's co-founder and chief executive, Jerry Yang (楊致遠). Microsoft faces a March 14 deadline to nominate an alternate slate of directors.
The impasse has triggered four shareholder suits in California's Santa Clara County Superior Court. Three other complaints have been filed in Delaware by pension funds that own Yahoo's stock.
Five of the suits allege Yahoo's board breached its duty by spurning Microsoft without trying to negotiate a better deal, according to the annual report.
The two other suits allege Yahoo unfairly favored Microsoft's "inadequate" bid even though the board eventually turned down the original cash-and-stock offer of US$31 per share.
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer