China’s embassy in Madagascar yesterday expressed shock at a deadly riot involving local workers at a Chinese-run sugar plant and criticized the island nation’s government for failing to protect Chinese interests.
The statement came three days after local workers clashed with local security forces, leaving two people dead, before they allegedly looted the sugar plant in Morondava.
The embassy said that Chinese workers evacuated the factory because of fears for their safety.
“We hope the Madagascar government will take necessary measures to properly handle the attack at the Morondava sugar plant and to erase the ill impact this incident has brought to the country’s international image and its ability to attract foreign investments to create a good environment for Madagascar to cooperate with China and other countries,” the statement said.
Madagascan Prime Minister Roger Kolo and Minister of Economy and Industry Jules Etienne Rolland have pledged to try to resolve the situation.
The labor protest started when the plant’s seasonal workers demanded contracts that offer better pay and better conditions, according to reports.
The Chinese embassy said the requests were unreasonable and that the workers began to block the factory early last month, cutting off utilities, harassing other employees and sabotaging equipment.
The confrontation escalated after Madagascan security forces arrested two strike leaders.
On Wednesday, about 500 workers rushed to a base of the security forces to demand the release of their colleagues and police fired tear gas and live ammunition, the Madagascar Tribune reported. Two people died. Police said they were acting in self-defense because some workers had guns and machetes.
Beijing’s official China News Service said the workers were armed with axes, slingshots and rocks.
Rioters then converged on the factory, looted its sugar supply and set fire to a building. Some carried bags of sugar on their backs or in carts and wheelbarrows and some of it was quickly sold on the illegal market, reports said.
China is Africa’s largest trading partner, but closer ties have resulted in sometimes violent labor disputes.
DISMAL OUTLOOK: A Citigroup analyst predicted firms face ‘the worst semiconductor downturn in at least a decade,’ due to inventory build and the potential of a recession Semiconductor stocks tumbled after Micron Technology Inc became the latest chipmaker to warn about slowing demand, triggering concern that the industry is heading into a painful downturn. In the US on Tuesday, the Philadelphia semiconductor index sank 4.6 percent, with all 30 members in the red, its biggest drop in about two months. In Asia, chip stocks from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to Samsung Electronics Co, SK Hynix Inc and Tokyo Electron Ltd slumped. Investors are growing increasingly skittish as the notoriously cyclical industry is hurtling toward a prolonged slump after years of widespread shortages that led to heavy
With a tantalizing array of satay chicken, wok-fried mud crab and chilled tiger prawns, the dinner buffet at Singapore’s Grand Hyatt hotel typically sets diners back about US$70. Those on a tighter budget and with an eye on sustainability can fill a box for one-tenth of that price. Across Asia, tech start-ups are taking food otherwise destined for landfill and providing discounted meals through mobile phone apps. About one-third of food is lost or wasted every year globally, and the mountains of waste are estimated to cause 8 to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, the UN says.
MAJOR REVENUE CONTRIBUTOR: The company said that it expects revenue this year to increase annually due to an improved smart consumer electronics outlook Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) yesterday said revenue this quarter would be flat from last quarter, despite new phone models launched by key customers, as the market faces weakening demand. The iPhone assembler, based in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城), said it is cautious about its business outlook, given mounting uncertainty regarding geopolitical tensions, soaring inflation and COVID-19 flare-ups, but still expects revenue this quarter to be higher than the NT$1.4 trillion (US$46.67 billion) it reported a year earlier. The forecast came as the company posted record second-quarter net profit of NT$33.29 billion, up 12 percent year-on-year from NT$29.78 billion.
Yageo Corp (國巨) yesterday said that its revenue would drop by a low single-digit percentage this quarter from a historical high last quarter, as customers and distributors are holding back demand to concentrate on inventory digestion due to flagging smartphone and notebook computer demand. The world’s biggest supplier of passive components expects to take three to six months to reduce its inventory of commoditized passive components to a normal level of 100 to 110 days, from 130 days currently. Yageo would reduce its factory utilization rate for standard passive components to about 60 percent this quarter, from about 70 percent last quarter,