January 2006

Walk, not drive, Mazda staff are told 
Employees of the Japanese carmaker are given $12 a month to encourage them to walk to the office to improve their health and protect the environment.

Lexus doing well in Japan
Latest figures from Toyota showed that the sale of Lexus, which was introduced in the Japanese market for the first time in August, has far exceeded expectations. A total of 4,600 units of the GS and SC models were sold in that month, three times higher than projected.
Winter price war
Domestic Chinese airlines are slashing fares to compete for passengers over the slow winter season. China Eastern Airlines has fired the first shot, offering tickets between Beijing and Shanghai for as little as $34.50. Others are expected to follow.
Falling price of camera phones
Beijing-based electronic retailer DZ Electric has just slashed prices of 1.3-megapixel made-in-China camera phones, such as those by Lenovo, Konka, Amoi, and TCL, from up to 1,400 yuan ($173) to below 1,000 yuan ($124). China is suffering a glut of mobile phones.
South Korea first in mobile TV service
The most wired nation has become the first to offer television services on mobile phones in December. The service allows viewers to watch real-time digital TV programmes with CD-quality audio and video via cell phones, laptop computers and other handheld devices.
Big jump of Chinese textiles to the US
The Sino-US textile agreement signed last month will allow Chinese textile exports to the US to increase by 10 to 17 per cent annually from 2006 to 2008. This will raise China’s share in America’s textile market from 6.7 per cent to just below 20 per cent in 2008, according to Chinese officials.
Lenovo seeks help from Mickey Mouse
China’s biggest PC maker has secured permission from Walt Disney to produce a laptop featuring Mickey Mouse. It will also use Mickey and other Disney cartoon characters in its more than 3,000 outlets around China to help promote its image.
China biggest market for new game
One third of all the 4.5 million online players of the role-playing game, World of Warcraft, came from China, said the producer Blizzard Entertainment. The 1.5 million Chinese gamers, though paying substantially less monthly subscription fees, are willing to pay up for online game items, adding extra revenue to Blizzard.
China joins European cutting edge research
China has signed an MOU to join a dozen European nations including Germany, France, Russia and Poland in an advanced X-ray laser project. The study, which involves probing various materials with powerful bursts of X-rays, may yield valuable insights in disciplines from geology to life sciences. The US is conspicuously absent from the group.
Outcry on new US policy
Chinese students are up in arms against a new policy to be proposed by the US government which will prevent non-citizens from taking part in advanced scientific projects in the US for fear of technology theft, said the Xinhua news agency.
Chinese firm gains Honeywell trademark
Lonon, a major electrical appliance maker, has secured the right to use the trademark of Honeywell, the US maker of control systems, on a series of products for eight years.
Gemtek revenue boosted by WLAN
GemTek Technology of Taiwan expects shipments of WLAN (wide area local network) related products to rise 50 per cent in a year to hit 30 million units in 2006, and revenue up from NT$12.3 billion ($367 million) to NT$16 billion.
Procurement soars in Taiwan
Procurements from Taiwan by international companies will hit $66 billion in 2005, up nearly 20 per cent in a year. The top buyer is Hewlett-Packard with business valued at $19 billion. Other big players include Dell, Apple, Motorola, NEC, Sony, Toshiba, and China-based Lenovo. 
Showa Denko breaks ground on Singapore hard disk media plant
The Japanese chemical company will invest ¥60 billion in the next three years to build the world’s largest plant in Singapore, making media for hard disk drives. Monthly production will hit 8.5 million units once the plant is fully operational.
China offers SMS in Tibetan
China has offered for the first time short messaging services in Tibet.
The service was jointly developed by Tibet University, Tibet TeleCom and Shenzhen Runhui Technology Company.
Fast growth for China mobile market
The number of Chinese subscribers for mobile phones will increase by 250 million in five years, from the current 380 million to 630 million in 2010. This will make China the world’s biggest mobile market,
estimated Nokia.
Ningbo Bird in Sagem deal
Bird, China’s top maker of mobile phones, has signed a 50/50 agreement with Sagem of France to conduct R&D work on mobile phones. Ningbo Bird said it hoped to quadruple its output as a result of the agreement.
Nokia deal—Foxconn gains, BenQ loses
Nokia is expected to place more orders to Foxconn International Holdings, a member of the Taiwanese group Hon Hai, while terminating its business with another Taiwanese company, BenQ. This follows BenQ’s acquisition of Siemen’s mobile phone business, which makes it a rival to Nokia.
Nokia expands factory in China
The Finnish mobile giant said it would expand a factory in Dongguan in southern China in the third quarter of 2006 to meet mushrooming worldwide demand, particularly from Asia. The factory will have 1,900 workers at full scale.
Taiwan second biggest Skype market
One year after launching SkypOut, PChome Online said the VoIP (voice over Internet) services have made Taiwan the second biggest Skype market in the world with 2.5 million registered users, after only the US.
Record number of policemen attacked in China
More than 1,800 policemen were attacked in the line of duty in the first six months of this year, said the Public Security Ministry. Riots and disturbances are now a daily event in China, a result of the uneven growth in wealth between the urban and rural population.

First Published: 
January 2006


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