PG&E files for protection
PG&E Corp yesterday filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, succumbing to liabilities stemming from wildfires in northern California in 2017 and last year. The owner of the biggest US power utility has filed a motion seeking court approval for a US$5.5 billion debtor-in-possession financing, it said in a statement. PG&E listed assets of US$71.39 billion and liabilities of US$51.69 billion in a document filed in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. “Throughout this process, we are fully committed to enhancing our wildfire safety efforts, as well as helping restoration and rebuilding efforts across the communities impacted,” PG&E interim CEO John Simon said. The company said it intends to pay suppliers in full under normal terms for goods and services provided on or after the date of the filing.
Intel to invest in new plant
Intel yesterday said it is expanding its operations in Israel, where ministers said that the US chipmaker would invest about US$10 billion in a new plant. “Intel today announced it will submit a business plan to the government of Israel for continued investment in the company’s Kiryat Gat manufacturing site,” a statement from Intel’s Israeli representatives said. Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon late on Monday said he was informed by Intel of its “unprecedented decision expected to bring thousands of jobs to the south.” Minister of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said that Intel had chosen to “build its most advanced plant here in Israel.” Last year, Intel had already decided on a US$5 billion upgrade to the site.
Bug allows eavesdropping
A FaceTime bug lets people hear and even see those they are calling on iPhones, even if the other person has not answered. When a telephone number is dialed on FaceTime — the iPhone’s calling feature — the caller can swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap an option to add a person, video demonstrations showed. If the caller then enters their own number as that of the added caller, a group call begins, even though the person being called has not answered. The caller can then eavesdrop on the person being called, and in some demonstrations even watch them through the camera app. Declining a call breaks the connection. The bug, initially outlined by Apple Inc product and review Web site 9to5Mac.com, was reported by several media outlets. An Apple statement quoted in US media said that it was aware of the issue and has “identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”
SAP to restructure
German giant SAP SE yesterday said it would launch a nearly billion-euro restructuring plan after profits stagnated last year, adding that it is on track to grow revenue and earnings this year. Net profit last year added just 1 percent to about 4.1 billion euros (US$4.69 billion), but operating profit surged 17 percent to 5.7 billion euros, on revenue up 5 percent at 24.7 billion euros. SAP said it plans to spend 800 million to 950 million euros “to further simplify company structures and processes.” Executives aim to realize a “minor cost benefit” this year, before slashing annual outgoings by up to 850 million euros from next year. The program comes on top of the group’s US$8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, which CEO Bill McDermott said meant SAP was “poised to revolutionize the business software industry.”
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s