Joblessness fell last month
The labor market last month strengthened more than expected as the economy began to emerge from COVID-19 restrictions. The number of people on payrolls rose 97,000, and vacancies increased 13 percent, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. The jobless rate in the first quarter fell unexpectedly to 4.8 percent as employment surged 84,000, the first gain since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The jobs outlook has improved significantly in the past few months, with the government announcing plans to fully reopen the economy by June 21 and then extending wage support for furloughed workers until the end of September.
Alibaba invests in Vietnam
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) and partners are investing US$400 million in Vietnamese conglomerate Masan Group Corp’s retail arm, a deal that would expand the e-commerce giant’s online groceries business in Southeast Asia. Alibaba and Baring Private Equity Asia are leading a consortium that would take a 5.5 percent stake in The CrownX, which holds Masan’s interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and VinCommerce, while the conglomerate would own 80.2 percent of the firm following the investment, a statement said yesterday. The deal implies a pre-investment valuation of US$6.9 billion for The CrownX, it showed.
Siemens buys Supplyframe
German industrial giant Siemens AG on Monday announced the US$700 million acquisition of US firm Supplyframe, a digital platform that specializes in connecting companies along the electronics supply chain. The deal, expected to close later this year, comes as industrial firms are scrambling to cope with global semiconductor shortages spurred by increased demand for consumer electronics during the pandemic. The acquisition would combine Siemens’ offerings with Supplyframe’s marketplace intelligence to “help customers to reduce costs, increase agility and make highly informed decisions,” Siemens said in a statement.
Tesla to help crash probe
Tesla Inc has pledged to work with Chinese authorities in the investigation of a crash involving one of its electric vehicles in which a policeman died. The California-based company said that it made a report to a government agency about the accident, which took place in the eastern city of Taizhou. One traffic policeman died after being injured in the accident, while a second officer injured in the crash is no longer in danger, the statement said. Another crash is still under investigation in China after a Tesla rear-ended a truck in Shaoguan in Guangdong Province on May 7, killing the driver of the vehicle, a Global Times report said. The cause of that accident is not yet clear.
Danone names new CEO
French food and beverages giant Danone SA on Monday said that it had named a new CEO to replace Emmanuel Faber, who was ousted by the board in March over complaints that his focus on social responsibility was holding back the firm’s profitability. His replacement, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, who currently heads the Swiss chocolate group Barry Callebaut AG, has spent the bulk of his career at the food and consumer goods conglomerate Unilever, heading up its food division from 2011 to 2015. He would assume the position in September, Danone said.
Apple Inc might make one out of four iPhones in India by 2025, JPMorgan & Chase Co analysts said yesterday, as the tech giant moves some production away from China, amid mounting geopolitical tensions and strict COVID-19 lockdowns in the country. JPMorgan expects Apple to move about 5 percent of iPhone 14 production from late this year to India, which is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world after China. It is also estimating that about 25 percent of all Apple products, including Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods, would be manufactured outside China by 2025 from 5 percent currently. The US company
HEADING SOUTH: The US company chose Kaohsiung as its site as more customers, partners and start-ups have expanded their operations to the southern city Qualcomm Inc yesterday inaugurated a new innovation center in Kaohsiung as it steps up efforts to foster local start-ups and a 5G technology ecosystem in the city, following in the footsteps of its local partners. The US chip company’s move fits the Kaohsiung City Government’s plan to build a semiconductor supply chain within the next five years, highlighted by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) first chip plant in the city. TSMC plans to start building the factory by the end of this year, and to start production of 28-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips there in 2024. Qualcomm said it had been
SLUMPING DEMAND: Inventory has climbed by up to 12 weeks as suppliers are under mounting pressure to offload excessive reserves, a TrendForce report said The price of DRAM chips is expected to fall at a steeper rate of 13 to 18 percent next quarter, as high inflation continues to weigh on demand for consumer electronics, causing chip inventories to soar, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. The downtrend in DRAM prices could extend from a quarterly decline of 10 to 15 percent in the third quarter, the Taipei-based researcher said. “Demand for consumer electronics continued to stagnate during the third quarter, which used to be a high demand season,” TrendForce said in a statement. “During the quarter, memorychip consumption and shipments both showed quarterly
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in July made its consumer health products division a separate entity as it transforms into a world-leading biopharmaceutical company. By uniting science, technology and talent, the company is aiming to prevent and treat diseases with innovative vaccines, specialty pharmaceuticals and general medicines. GSK’s headquarters annually invests NT$192 billion (US$6.07 billion) in research and development, focusing on immune science and advanced technologies in human genetics. GSK’s drug and vaccine development focuses on infectious diseases, HIV, oncology and immunology. Investing in clinical trial research each year, GSK also brings drug development to Taiwan. It cooperates with 17 medical institutes and research