China is "more than 90 percent certain" to adopt Japan's bullet-train technology to build a new multi-billion dollar high-speed rail line between Beijing and Shanghai, state press reported yesterday. \nAlthough Transrapid International, a consortium comprising German industrial engineers ThyssenKrupp AG and Siemens AG, has not yet given up hope that China would adopt its magnetic levitation or Maglev train, its prospects look dim, the Economic Observer said, citing the Ministry of Railways. \nEarlier this month, German media reported that China was unlikely to proceed with its plan to build the 1,300km line based on the German space-age technology. \nA senior member of the Siemens' management team said that it had received "clear signals that the decision will be taken in favor of the traditional train technology." \nHopes had been high after Shanghai installed the 430km per hour Maglev for commercial use on a line between the city's Pudong airport and downtown. \nFollowing its successful test run earlier this year, former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji (朱隆基) said China would build a second "maglev" line from Shanghai to the eastern city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. \nIt was expected that Beijing-Shanghai may follow suit. \nHowever, competition has been fierce, with France's TGV and Japan's Shinkansen bullet train vying for a contract worth an estimated US$12 billion as well as other proposals to connect major cities in China by high-speed rail. \nJapan's Transport Minister Chikage Ogi said last week she wants to visit China to promote Japan's bullet train.
SUPPLY CHAIN RESHUFFLE: The chipmaker was ‘cautious’ in not making commitments too early in building production in the US, citing ‘geopolitical factors,’ Nikkei Asia said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is considering building an advanced IC packaging plant in the US following a massive investment to set up a wafer fab in Arizona, Nikkei Asia reported. TSMC was considering the plant in response to “Washington’s desire to bring more of the tech supply chain onto home turf,” the report said. TSMC increasingly faces the need to expand in the US, which accounts for about 62 percent of its total sales, Nikkei Asia said, citing three sources who declined to be named. The potential US plant would be equipped with the latest 3D stacking technologies to arrange chips
As much as the US pines for the good old days of global semiconductor supremacy, Japan feels its loss of glory even more. Once a dominant name in electronic components, the nation has been overtaken by Taiwan, South Korea, and, more recently, China. Yet Tokyo might have a viable plan to revitalize its domestic sector. “Unlike the purely domestic, independent way it was done in the past, I think we need to cooperate with overseas counterparts,” Akira Amari, a former economy minister and senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told Bloomberg News’ Isabel Reynolds and Emi Nobuhiro this week. That is
Apple Inc has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric vehicle (EV) division, to help lead its own vehicle efforts, people familiar with the situation said. The tech giant hired Kranz in recent weeks, about a month after he stepped down as CEO of Canoo Inc, a developer of self-driving EVs. Before cofounding Canoo, Kranz was senior vice president of the group that developed the i3 and i8 cars at BMW, where he worked for 30 years. Kranz is one of Apple’s most significant automotive hires, a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a
MARKET BOOST: Elon Musk said Tesla would resume bitcoin transactions once there is ‘reasonable’ clean energy usage by miners and denied selling a big part of his holdings Bitcoin yesterday hit a two-week peak just shy of US$40,000, after another weekend reacting to tweets from Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk, who fended off criticism over his market influence and said Tesla sold bitcoin, but might resume transactions using it. Bitcoin has gyrated to Musk’s views for months since Tesla announced a US$1.5 billion bitcoin purchase in February and said it would take the cryptocurrency in payment. He later said the electric vehicle maker would not accept bitcoin due to concerns over how mining the currency requires high energy use and contributes to climate change. “When there’s confirmation of reasonable