Nippon Polaroid's TV plans
Nippon Polaroid KK is to enter the flat-panel television market in Japan, a news report said yesterday. The Japanese arm of US camera producer Polaroid Corp plans to launch a 32-inch model priced at about ¥100,000 (US$847) and a 20-inch model for around ¥70,000, according to Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun. The TVs will be on sale from early next month, the report said. Nippon Polaroid plans to procure the TVs from a Taiwanese manufacturer, which was not named in the report.
Overseas sales boom
Overseas markets are accounting for a higher percentage of sales for listed Japanese companies, reaching 50.6 percent on average, a report said yesterday. The figure compares with 42 percent of sales overseas in a fiscal 2001 study for the same firms, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily reported, citing April-September earnings reports released last Friday. The automobile and electrical machinery sectors saw the percentage of overseas sales rise further, in part because the weaker yen caused yen-based sales to balloon, it said. The six major automakers generated 76 percent of their sales abroad, while six major electronics manufacturers logged 51 percent of their sales in overseas markets, it said.
Pfizer in Viagra battle
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has taken a Chinese pharmaceutical company to court over infringing its copyright for its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, state media reported yesterday. The case against Guangzhou Welman pharmaceutical company was heard in a Beijing court on Thursday but a verdict was not delivered immediately, the Beijing News reported. The legal action comes after Pfizer won a court ruling upholding its China patent for Viagra in June. Pfizer had originally obtained a Chinese patent license for Viagra in 2001 but the country's patent review board, the State Intellectual Property Office, revoked the license in July 2004 following complaints by 12 Chinese pharmaceutical companies.
New law attracts interest
More than 10 foreign lenders have expressed an interest in setting up new local operations in China following the release of new rules governing foreign-funded banks, state media reported yesterday. Foreign banks which have shown an interest in transferring operating branches into locally registered corporations include HSBC, Standard Chartered and Hang Seng Bank, the China Daily said. The new rules will allow foreign banks access to the local currency retail market and subject them to the same regulatory requirements as that of local banks.
Search rivals join forces
Internet search rivals Google, Yahoo and Microsoft formed an alliance on Thursday to support a shared standard regarding how Web sites are pinpointed for their indexes. The "joint initiative" was intended to make it easier for Web masters to let Internet search engines know what their online pages contained, according to Google. Search engines could use the information gathered in the "Web crawl" process to better tailor results for their users. Yahoo and Microsoft announced they would each support Google's "Sitemaps 0.90" protocol instead of using different standards for submissions by Web masters.
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
The US House of Representatives’ China Task Force, launched by Republicans earlier this year, yesterday proposed the China task force act, a package of 137 pieces of legislation, seven of which involve Taiwan, in the hope of getting it passed before the 117th US Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The act encompasses a wide range of issues, including combatting Beijing’s influence around the globe, establishing the US’ dominance in determining 5G network standards and means for bringing UN members to task for abusing their influence within the UN system. The seven acts involving Taiwan address concerns such as the Taiwan Assurance Act
Chinese health authorities investigating a COVID-19 outbreak have said that they discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday said that it had found traces of live COVID-19 on the outer packaging of frozen cod in the eastern city of Qingdao, marking the first time that live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao. Genetic traces had previously been found in samples of
A Chinese soldier apprehended earlier this week by the Indian Army after he strayed across a tense de facto border was on Tuesday night handed back to China, an Indian government source in New Delhi said yesterday. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had on Monday been captured in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army said in a statement. The Chinese military also released a statement, saying that Corporal Wang Yalong was handed over early yesterday. New Delhi on Monday said that it had detained Wang after he crossed into Indian-controlled territory, while China announced that Wang had gotten