HKL converts upscale office
The biggest landlord in Hong Kong’s Central business district is opening its first flexible office space in one of its premium buildings to capture the demand for agile workplace leasing. Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd (HKL, 香港置地) converted two floors in Edinburgh Tower into a 320-desk flexible workspace, which opened its doors yesterday. Leasing term in the office ranges from as short as three months to three years. HKL said the space mainly targets financial companies and professional services. An unnamed international financial institution has rented a suite, it said.
May exports surge 49.6%
Exports last month surged 49.6 percent from last year’s dismal level, as record jumps in shipments to the US and Europe helped boost an economy still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic at home, data released yesterday by the Ministry of Finance showed. The figures were largely in line with the median forecast from analysts. Shipments of vehicles and auto parts more than doubled, despite a shortage of semiconductors that has crimped vehicle production in the US and other markets. Shipments to the US gained 87.9 percent, those to the EU climbed 69.6 percent and exports to China climbed 23.6 percent.
UK in EV battery talks
The British government is in talks with six companies to build gigafactories to produce electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing people briefed on the discussions. Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co, LG Corp, Samsung Electronics Co, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report said. The government’s plan to prohibit the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030 and hybrids by 2035 would require the nation’s vehicle plants to shift to producing electric models.
Vacation home sales surge
US real estate became a hot commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic, but an industry survey released on Tuesday said vacation homes were even hotter, underscoring how those who could afford it sought comfort far from cities, despite the economy’s collapse. The share of vacation homes sold out of all existing home sales is usually about 5 percent annually, but last year, it rose to 5.5 percent, and was at 6.7 percent for the first four months of this year, the National Association of Realtors said, with the ratio hitting 8 percent in April alone.
Zuckerberg’s rating slips
Mark Zuckerberg’s approval among some Facebook Inc employees has slipped, dislodging him from Glassdoor’s ranking of the Top 100 CEOs, a list he has been on annually since 2013. Worker sentiment on Zuckerberg, as measured by Glassdoor surveys taken by more than 700 Facebook employees from May last year to last month, declined particularly in the last months of last year and early this year, when Facebook was managing the aftermath of the US presidential election and misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic. While Zuckerberg still managed a rating of 88 percent, higher than the average 73 percent approval rating for CEOs generally, that was not enough for the top 100 list, where Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella scored 97 percent and Apple Inc’s Tim Cook scored 95 percent.
HEAVY TOLL: The closure of the plants, which produced 56 percent of Feng Tay’s shoes last year, followed similar shutdowns in India, its second-biggest production base Feng Tay Enterprises Co Ltd (豐泰), a supplier for Nike Inc, on Saturday temporarily shut down four factories in Vietnam, its biggest manufacturing base, for about a week amid COVID-19 lockdowns, it said yesterday. Feng Tay is the latest in a slew of local manufacturers with operations in Vietnam that have suspended operations as the country grapples with its worst outbreak of COVID-19. Pou Chen Corp (寶成工業), the world’s largest manufacturer of branded athletic and casual footwear, last week said that it had suspended operations at its plant in Ho Chi Minh City, as virus restrictions shuttered factories in the business hub
Taiwan should protect its vaccine supply chain and invest in vaccine development after seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted tremendous social and economic losses worldwide, Sanofi Pasteur Hong Kong & Taiwan general manager Philip Ho said in an interview this week. “When you look at the trillions of dollars that countries have lost, parents who are forced to stay at home with their children and various restrictions imposed following a nationwide lockdown, we really see what we are losing compared with what we can benefit from vaccination,” Ho said. While the government has been trying to secure vaccines since the middle
The next target for China’s cybersecurity crackdown is to be the pools of data collected by the latest generation of vehicles. This approach risks Beijing shooting itself in the foot, and jeopardizing its ambitious plans to lead the global race for electric and autonomous vehicles. China wants to have control over the information vehicles have about their drivers, the roads they traverse, and the faces and voices they pass, according to a draft law on data-security management for the automotive industry issued in May. It seeks to ensure manufacturers across the auto supply chain keep data in the country and pass
An index launched a year ago to give investors greater exposure to China’s Internet giants is now the world’s worst-performing major technology gauge. The Hang Seng Tech Index has been on a roller-coaster ride in the past 12 months. The gauge, which marks its first anniversary on Tuesday, was up 59 percent at its February peak, but has since seen more than US$551 billion in market value wiped out amid Beijing’s clampdown on the sector. That has reduced its gain to nearly 6 percent, compared with more than 40 percent for the MSCI World Information Technology Index and the NASDAQ-100 Index. The