Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活), which runs the Eslite bookstore chain in Taiwan and abroad, yesterday inked an agreement with Malaysia’s YTL Corp Bhd to open a branch in downtown Kuala Lumpur in 2022.
The two sides signed the partnership via a teleconference to launch the Taiwanese bookstore brand in YTL’s mixed-use property The Starhill in Bukit Bintang, a central business district in the Malaysian capital.
Despite the company’s aim to grow its business abroad, Eslite Spectrum chairwoman Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) said that she was initially hesitant about expanding to Malaysia when the world was in the grip of a pandemic.
“I decided to take the step at the urging of YTL Corp, the largest conglomerate in Malaysia whose founder, Yeoh Tiong Lay (楊忠禮), was an immigrant from Kinmen and had long supported Chinese culture and education,” Wu told a news conference in Taipei.
Joseph Yeoh (楊恭賢), vice president of YTL hotels and property wing, said from Kuala Lumpur he was confident that Eslite would succeed in Malaysia, as many people there would still prefer in-person shopping once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
YTL has a global footprint with nine shopping malls in different parts of the world and the collaboration with Eslite could lead to other partnerships in the future, Joseph Yeoh said.
“We will first focus on the current project,” he said.
The upcoming flagship Eslite branch at The Starhill would be a 2,000 ping (6,600m2) space featuring a bookstore, as well as retail, food and beverage sections, Wu said.
A Taiwanese team is in charge of its interior design, in line with the company’s mission to integrate the humanities, arts and creativity into life, Wu said.
“Our initial hesitation stemmed from our insistence on doing the best we can to live up to a reputation of being the top cultural brand across Chinese societies,” Wu said.
Kuala Lumpur, dubbed the World Book Capital City by the UN, is an ideal destination for expansion, as Malaysia has topped the list of foreign visitors from Southeast Asia for the past 10 years, she said.
Malaysians have long embraced cultural diversity, with Chinese constituting the second-largest ethnic group, making Malaysia a major export market for Taiwanese books, she added.
The new Eslite branch is expected to help drive cultural tourism in Malaysia and benefit the two partners, Wu and Yeoh said.
The rise of the cryptocurrency dogecoin has reached a new level after the token was used to pay for a lunar satellite launch. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial rocket firm, is to embark on a moon voyage next year carrying a so-called cubesat — a mini-satellite used for space research — from Geometric Energy Corp that has been paid for entirely in dogecoin. The development is the latest twist in the saga over the digital token, which started as a joke in 2013, but is now a dominating Internet meme and sitting on a 21,000 percent rally in the past year. Musk has
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) NT$10 million (US$357,194) and DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) NT$6 million for breaches of the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The NT$10 million fine is the highest penalty that it has imposed on a domestic bank, the commission said. Citibank Taiwan failed to set up a sound mechanism for evaluating clients’ risk of money laundering and for detecting suspicious transactions, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang Kuang-hsi (黃光熙) told a news conference in New Taipei City. The bank based its AML policies on those of its US-based parent company, Citigroup Inc, but the policies
CAPACITY EXPANSION: Construction of the site, which is to be the firm’s first mRNA production facility outside of Europe, is to begin this year and likely finish in 2023 COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech SE yesterday said it would build a Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site in Singapore to produce hundreds of millions of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines per year. Construction of the site would start this year, and it could become operational by 2023, the German company said in a statement. “With this planned mRNA production facility, we will increase our overall network capacity, and expand our ability to manufacture and deliver our mRNA vaccines and therapies to people around the world,” BioNTech chief executive Ugur Sahin said. The vaccine produced by BioNTech jointly with Pfizer Inc of
OUTBREAK: About 200 of the airline’s 1,200 pilots are not able to work. Most of them have been quarantined to prevent further infection, but 12 have COVID-19 China Airlines Ltd (CAL,中華航空) yesterday confirmed that it would temporarily reduce its cargo flight services to cope with a pilot shortage, as one-sixth of its pilots have been sidelined by a COVID-19 outbreak. “We are working out a new schedule,” the airline said in a statement after local news media reports on Saturday said that it would be reducing its cargo services from Wednesday, primarily affecting US destinations. CAL declined to give details about its new operating plan, but the reports said that it would be suspending its cargo flights to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and