S Korea nominates WTO head
Seoul on Friday nominated South Korean Minster for Trade Bark Taeho to lead the WTO, making him the eighth candidate to be put forward for the top job. Bark’s candidacy was submitted three days before nominations close and as Pascal Lamy, the global trade body’s current director general, prepares to step down on Aug. 31. Although Lamy has said his successor should be chosen on the basis of competence alone, some trade diplomats say it is the turn of a developing country to hold the job. Bark is the second candidate from a rich country and the third from the Asia-Pacific to apply. More could be put forward before the deadline of midnight on Monday.
Court rules against Apple
A court has ordered Apple Inc to pay 1.03 million yuan (US$165,000) to eight Chinese writers and two companies who say unlicensed copies of their work were distributed through Apple’s online store. The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court ruled on Thursday that Apple violated the writers’ copyrights by allowing applications containing their work to be distributed through its App Store, according to an official who answered the phone at the court and said he was the judge in the case. He refused to give his name, as is common among Chinese officials. The award was less than the 12 million yuan sought by the authors.
YouTube block to be lifted
Authorities were expected to unblock access to the popular video sharing Web site YouTube yesterday after taking measures to filter blasphemous material and pornography, a Cabinet minister said. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in September ordered the blocking of YouTube after the US-based Web site refused to heed the government’s call to remove a controversial anti-Islam video. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Twitter the decision to allow access was due to huge public demand, and that the telecoms regulator would install a firewall to maintain a block on unseemly content.
Minister keeps growth target
Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said he is maintaining an economic growth target of 0.8 percent for next year even after the economy grew less than initially reported in the third quarter. Reaching that goal will depend in part on how economic actors react to changes in banking regulation and on other efforts to try to halt the crisis in the euro zone, as well as on growth in the US, Moscovici said. GDP rose 0.1 percent in the third quarter, half the pace estimated on Nov. 15, statistics institute Insee said on Friday.
Netflix CEO’s fee doubled
Netflix Inc, the world’s largest video-subscription service, doubled the annual compensation of chairman and chief executive officer Reed Hastings to US$4 million. Hastings, 52, will receive US$2 million in salary next year, along with US$2 million in stock options, according to a regulatory filing today by the Los Gatos, California-based company. The executive received a US$500,000 salary this year and US$1.5 million in option allowances, a reduction in stock compensation from last year.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their
FRONTRUNNER: While the company’s global parent has pledged to lower emissions to 2 tonnes per employee, the local subsidiary has curbed its output to 1.8 tonnes HSBC Bank Taiwan Ltd (?豐台灣商銀) is committed to enhancing corporate social responsibility by cutting carbon emissions, boosting sustainable financing and conducting projects that result in positive social impacts such as wild bird protection, the bank said in an interview in Taipei on Friday. The bank aims to reduce its carbon emissions as its parent company, HSBC Holdings PLC, earlier this month said it targets to reduce emissions in its daily operations and supply chains to net zero by 2030, as well as net zero emissions of its portfolio of customers by 2050, it said. HSBC Taiwan has adopted measures to make its
‘NEW TRAVEL MARKET’: The carrier initially planned to lay off about 8,000 people globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its workforce Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) would cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, the South China Morning Post reported, as part of a strategic review to combat the unprecedented damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-based airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the market close today, the newspaper said. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its total workforce, including about 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong, it said. The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) loss in the first half, has for months