Mitsubishi fined in Germany
Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Co yesterday confirmed it paid a 25 million euro (US$29.7 million at the current rate of exchange) fine issued by German prosecutors over emissions fraud allegations earlier this year. German authorities last year raided 10 sites as part of a probe into suspected diesel emissions cheating involving Mitsubishi vehicles, with prosecutors saying they had opened a fraud investigation. Mitsubishi Motors said it was issued a fine notice of 25 million euros by the Frankfurt prosecutors office in late March. Bloomberg News said the settlement was sealed in March, but had not been previously disclosed.
Facebook under fire in EU
The European Consumer Organisation yesterday announced it had lodged a complaint with the European Commission against Facebook Inc’s attempt to modify the terms of service for the WhatsApp messaging service. The US tech titan has sought to nudge users of its messenger platform to accept new terms of service, but Facebook denies that this would allow WhatsApp to share more user data with its main social platform. In a statement announcing its complaint, the European Consumer Organisation accused Facebook of “unfairly” pressuring users to accept the handover and failing to explain it.
Household wealth rising
A boom in Britain’s housing market and a surge in global share prices have led to windfall gains for middle-income and richer households during the COVID-19 pandemic, research from the Resolution Foundation think tank showed yesterday. The average British household saw its wealth rise by ￡7,800 (US$10,811) due to asset price rises and, to a lesser extent, lower day-to-day spending. The biggest percentage increase in wealth came for those in the middle of the wealth distribution, whose net assets increased in value by 9 percent to ￡80,500 per adult, driven by a sharp rise in house prices.
‘Daily Mail’ to go private
The Rothermere family is considering taking the owner of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper private following a takeover approach for its insurance and risk division. The Rothermere Continuation Ltd would pay ￡2.51 for each remaining share of the company, London-based Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said in a statement yesterday. That implies an enterprise value of ￡810 million for the rest of the company, with DMGT assuming ￡230 million in debt. If the possible offer for Risk Management Solutions is declared unconditional, DMGT would pay a special dividend of cash and noncash assets, valued at about ￡6.10 per share, including its shares in auto-marketplace start-up Cazoo.
Suez Canal nets US$5.84bn
The Suez Canal netted Egypt a record US$5.84 billion in the past tax year, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie said on Sunday. “Despite various challenges, revenues from the canal rose sharply” in the fiscal year ending June 30, Rabie said. Authorities netted “the highest revenues in the history of the canal, hitting $5.84 billion,” a more than 2 percent higher increase from the previous year, he said in a statement. The SCA said that 9,763 ships had passed through the canal in the first six months of the year, 2 percent more than the same period last year. About 19,000 ships passed through the canal last year, it said.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
Production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp’s (TSMC, 台積電) fabs was not affected by a fire at a construction site for a water recycling facility in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker said that the construction site is not adjacent to its fabs, which were unaffected. CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) is responsible for the construction of the facility, which it is to operate itself once it is completed, the chipmaker said. The facility caught fire at about 11am, and the blaze was brought under control about 30 minutes after the incident was reported, the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration
‘SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PAIN’: A military takeover would only temporarily weigh on wafer production on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, IC Insights said Taiwan has more chip manufacturing capacity than any other economy in the world, US-based market information advisory firm IC Insights said in a research paper last week, cautioning that the nation’s strength could prompt China to attempt to take over Taiwan. Taiwan commanded 21.4 percent of global installed IC capacity, ahead of South Korea’s 20.4 percent, Japan’s 15.8 percent and China’s 15.3 percent, North America’s 12.6 percent and Europe’s 5.7 percent, IC Insights said. Taiwan is one of two countries that uses 10-nanometer technology or better to produce wafers, holding 62.8 percent of global capacity, with South Korea holding the remaining 37.2
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has