Nokia, Sanyo drop JV talks
Sanyo and Nokia said yesterday they had dropped talks to work together on a mobile joint venture, just four months after they announced the plan. After negotiations, Nokia Corp of Finland and Sanyo Electric Co of Japan decided it would be better to pursue other options, the companies said in a joint statement, without elaborating. In February, Sanyo and Nokia announced they would set up a joint venture to develop and make advanced cellphones, underlining their ambitions to grow globally in the increasingly competitive mobile market. Both sides had said they expected to sign a deal in the second quarter of this year, and the new business would start in the third quarter. But yesterday, the two companies said they would announce future plans separately for their handset businesses.
HK market nears saturation
Hong Kong has the highest mobile phone penetration rate in Asia and is near saturation point, a survey said yesterday. There are about 5 million mobile phones for the 6.9 million population of the southern Chinese territory, or 95 percent of the people between the ages of 15 and 59, according to a survey by Nielsen Media Research of media habits, lifestyles and attitudes. That compared with 93 percent in South Korea, 89 percent in Singapore and 87 percent in Australia.
China may ease foreign cap
Former US commerce secretary Donald Evans said yesterday that talks with Chinese finance officials this week gave him the impression that China will lift caps on foreign equity in provincial banks. "It appears to me that the caps on the provincial banks will move up at a quicker pace than the big five banks," said Evans after meeting several Chinese officials. China limits investments by individual foreign banks in its lenders to 20 percent of total equity, with the total for all foreign investments in any single bank capped at 25 percent.
Merger talks collapse
The long-awaited US$500 million Jet Airways takeover of domestic rival Air Sahara collapsed yesterday amid a row over the price of India's largest airline merger, according to reports. A deadline to complete the deal passed at midnight to create the country's biggest domestic carrier, controlling about half of the booming market. The failure of the deal came five months after the tie-up was first announced and both sides went to the courts over money lodged in an account designed for the merger.
Japan trade surplus surges
Japan said yesterday its trade surplus soared more than 35 percent last month to post the first rise in 17 months as growing US sales of Japanese cars reinforced signs of a strong economy. Economists cautioned, however, that Japanese exports still risked stumbling in the near future due to a potential slowdown in the US where the market has been hit hard by fears over inflation and higher interest rates. The trade surplus last month rose 35.2 percent to ¥384.9 billion (US$3.35 billion) from May last year, the finance ministry said. Exports jumped 18.9 percent to ¥5.70 trillion, topping imports which grew 17.9 percent to ¥5.32 trillion.
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft posted online after the virtual meeting that Taiwan should be able to share its successes in global venues President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan. On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need
Don Quijote, the biggest discount store in Japan, is opening its first store in Taiwan today. The three-story Don Don Donki store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, which operates 24 hours a day, has already created 400 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a press release. Many Taiwanese, including Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), consider a trip to Don Quijote an essential stop in Japan. “I have been to Don Quijote at least 10 times myself,” Huang said yesterday at a news conference announcing the store’s opening. “They are rendering an important service, because we cannot travel