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Archives: December 2008

New Year blues in Japan

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 31

It will be very interesting to see how busy Japan's department stores are on January 2, the traditional start of the New Year sales season. In normal years, keen shoppers...

China’s Christmas Panda Diplomacy Reaches Taiwan

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on December 24

It’s the latest goodwill gesture to emanate across the Taiwan Straits. Beijing on Dec. 23—let us call it an early Christmas present—sent two of its rare giant pandas on a...

The Healing Begins

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on December 23

On Sunday, December 21, both the Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi's Trident Hotel reopened their doors to customers - just three weeks after the terrorist attack on Mumbai had devastated...

Toyota scion Akio Toyoda reportedly lined up to replace CEO Watanabe

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 23

Could this week get any worse for Toyota CEO Katsuaki Watanabe? Yesterday, Watanabe took the unusual step of announcing a huge profits revision at a year-end press conference which is...

China-Taiwan Economic Ties Keep Getting Closer

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on December 19

Following the historic resumption of Cross-Straits daily direct links including air, shipping and postal on Dec. 15, China and Taiwan economic ties continue to warm. Today in Shanghai was the...

Japan's Central Bank Follows Fed with Rate Cut

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 19

Japan’s central bank is inching back to familiar territory. Three days after the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to help banks and businesses raise cash and help the economy through...

Will Toyota now make a full year loss?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 18

The awful news in autos is unrelenting. There's an article in today's Nikkei newspaper which raises the possibility that Toyota could makes it first ever operating loss (although Toyota once...

Panasonic Sweetens Its Offer For Sanyo By A Pittance, Goldman Accepts

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 18

Adding one yen per share hardly qualifies as a deal sweetener. And yet if you believe the reports today, Panasonic's offer of 131 yen a share for Sanyo Electric--one yen...

Japan Farm Ministry's Animated Video is a Sleeper Hit Online

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 16

What's the point of toiling away for months on a report that nobody will read? That is the sad fate of most policy papers published by Japan's Agriculture, Forestry...

iPhone, BlackBerry to Make Debut in Korea

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 16

Tech-savvy residents in South Korea will finally have access to the iPhone and the BlackBerry Bold after being shut out from the globally popular smartphones. SK Telecom, Korea’s largest mobile...

WTO Rules Against China's Auto Parts Tariffs

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on December 16

Chinese auto industry pride was high on December 15 when upstart car maker BYD Auto stole the march on GM, Toyota and Nissan by launching the first mass produced plug-in...

As Toyota delays new Prius plant, will exec bonuses be next next to go?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 15

As expected, Toyota is delaying the opening of a new Prius plant in Mississippi, highlighting that even gas sippers aren't immune to collapsing auto sales. The plant, near Tupelo, was...

China and Taiwan Economic Ties Grow Closer

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on December 15

It’s a big day for cross-Straits relations. Ending an almost 60-year-old ban on direct links that date back to the civil war between the Chinese Communists and Taiwan’s KMT Party,...

Nissan's Ideas for Electric Cars: Think Holistically

Posted by: Kenji Hall on December 12

The world’s biggest car makers are racing to add non-polluting electric vehicles to their fleets. But few have a solution to one thorny issue that has long plagued electric...

A Modest Boost for Hong Kong Disneyland

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on December 11

Attendance at Disney's Hong Kong theme park rose 8% in the year ended September. A spokesman for Hong Kong Disneyland (a joint venture between Disney and the Hong Kong govenrment)...

South Korea’s Surprise Rate Cut

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 11

Taking the market by surprise, the Bank of Korea on Dec. 11 slashed its base rate to a record low 3% from 4%. The cut, which is much deeper than...

Google Gains on Apple in China with Android Win

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on December 10

In the race to win acceptance for its smart phone worldwide, Google is gaining ground on Apple. Steve Jobs and Co. still don't have the iPhone in China, after talks...

At 78, Osamu Suzuki to become Suzuki Motor president once again

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 10

Eight years after stepping down as Suzuki Motor's president, Osamu Suzuki is to return to the top job at the Japanese automaker. Later today, the company is expected to announce...

Chrysler's China Deal Dies

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on December 09

Smart timing from Chrysler. Just as lawmakers in Washington are debating whether to throw a lifeline to Detroit's Big Three, the company has announced it is backing away from a...

Toyota City feels the pain

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 09

Japan’s automakers aren't seeking bailout, but Toyota's hometown may soon need a helping hand. According to reports in the local media, Toyota City expects its tax income this year to...

China's Millions of Migrant Workers and the Economic Downturn

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on December 08

The plight of China’s hundreds of millions of migrant workers has lately been on my mind, as the world economy slows and more and more of the export factories of...

Christmas with Chinese Characteristics: In a Flagging Economy, Beijing Lays on the Tinsel

Posted by: David Rocks on December 07

If you want to experience Christmas in all its commercial splendor, undiluted by any religious sentiment or spiritual meaning, come to China. Beijing is full of Christmas trees, animatronic Santas, nutcrackers. Every store seems to have Christmas specials, and the soundtrack matches that of any mall in Cleveland, Kalamazoo, or Colorado Springs.

King's Cancellation Puts Thailand Back on Edge

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on December 05

It has been a remarkable week for Thailand. A potentially bloody confrontation between protestors and police at Bangkok’s two airports was averted after the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister...

Honda right to quit Formula One

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 05

Confirming news reports that broke in the UK on Thursday, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui today said that the Japanese car maker is pulling out of Formula One, blaming the appalling...

More Currency Conflict ahead for U.S. and China

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on December 03

Maybe Hank Paulson, the Bush Administration’s Old China Hand and friend of Beijing, won’t get such a warm reception on his final trip to China as treasury secretary. Paulson is...

Could LG Pass Motorola for No. 3 Handset Spot Next Year?

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 03

Executives at South Korea’s LG Electronics try to avoid expressing their ambition to outsell Motorola and Sony Ericsson and become the world’s third largest maker of mobile phones. Yet Skott...

Oliver Stone's Chinese Art Sells for $4.4 Million at Christie's

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on December 01

It may have taken Hollywood film maker Oliver Stone six weeks to recap the $25 million it cost studios spent making the President Bush biopic “W.”, but he fared...

Jews Targeted in Mumbai

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on December 01

The Chabad House in Mumbai, where terrorists murdered the young rabbi, his wife and several others during last week's attacks, is relatively new. Six years ago, the first time I...


Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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