Archives: January 2009

Amid the gloom, Honda at least stays profitable

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 30

Today was another grim day in Tokyo as the Japanese government revealed some horrific economic numbers. In December, industrial production dropped 9.6%, the biggest fall ever. The same month, unemployment...

Australian Open Needs to Open More to Asia

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 30

As anybody who has watched even a few minutes of the Australian Open can tell you, Kia is a big sponsor of the year’s first big tennis tournament. The Korean...

After Satyam, an IT Bill of Rights?

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on January 28

The Satyam scandal is still spilling blood. On Jan 19, State Farm Insurance, a major client which contributed a large chunk of the outsourcer's last fourth quarters' earnings, withdrew its...

Renewable Energy Share in China Falls

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on January 28

China's goal of increasing the amount of renewable energy it produces is failing. According to the Chinese Environmental Law blog, the actual percentage of wind, solar, and hydro power of...

Cleaner Skies for Hong Kong in Year of the Ox?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 28

The Year of the Ox has gotten off to a bad start in Hong Kong. In a ceremony at a local temple yesterday, a government official drew the worst straw...

Two Chinese Get Death Penalty for Tainted Milk Scandal

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on January 23

The newspaper photographs taken on Jan. 22 of a weeping woman whose granddaughter died from melamine-tainted milk in China last year provided stark and heartbreaking contrast to another grim image...

Why China's Censors Cut Obama's Speech

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 23

James Fallows has a good post on his Atlantic blog about the Chinese censorship of Obama’s speech. He answers the question I’ve been asking myself: Why in the world would...

Is Sony a bellwether for Japan Inc.?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 23

A day after Sony revealed new forecasts for a $2.9 billion annual operating loss--its first in 14 years, and a significant revision from the previous profit outlook--its stock led Japanese...

Will Toyota Cut U.S., British workers?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 22

Last summer Toyota won plaudits for not laying off workers when it shuttered plants to reorganize U.S. production. Instead of cutting its headcount, workers undertook extra training, helped out at...

India-China: Resplendent, Re-emergent Civilizations

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on January 22

Forget Emerging Markets, Developing Countries, Chindia, and all that stuff you heard about India and China. The new definition of these two countries is Resplendent, Re-emergent Civilizations - RRC, as...

Hyundai’s Profit Fall Isn’t All That Bad

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 22

Hyundai Motor’s announcement on Jan. 22 that its net profit fell 28% in the fourth quarter of 2008 isn’t really a bad piece of news. The highlight of the corporate...

Sony Revamps TV Biz, Warns of Annual Losses

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 22

As demand for consumer electronics craters worldwide, Sony is looking to pare back its TV production in Japan, possibly stopping work at one of two domestic factories where it assembles...

Vietnamese Journalist Gets Presidential Pardon, Hong Kong Photographer Gets Socked

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on January 20

It's approaching the time of the Tet holiday, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, and human rights advocates will have at least one small reason to celebrate. President Nguyen Minh Triet has...

1000 Caught Cheating on China Civil Service Exams

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on January 20

Desperate times call for desperate measures. As the worldwide slowdown starts to bite in China, job hunting has become particularly brutal. According to the official state news ageny Xinhua,...

Mumbai and the Marathon

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on January 19

At 6.45 am sharp on the morning of Sunday, January 18, 2009, 36,000 enthusiastic runners began the Mumbai Marathon. On the outside, it seemed the same as the marathon run...

A Hard Landing for China's Economy

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 19

With Chinese New Year starting next week and worries rising about hard-hit factories in southern China shutting down for the holiday and not reopening afterwards, a new report out from...

Is Asia Winning a Race to Patent Ideas in the U.S.?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 16

The world’s most innovative companies go to great lengths to guard their trade secrets. But do companies with the most patents have the inside track on the best ideas? It’s...

Imminent Leadership Shakeup at Samsung

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 15

Will a new leadership shakeup inject fresh confidence into Samsung Electronics? That’s a key question many corporate analysts are asking as Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, prepares to announce...

Indian Corporate Governance: Substandard, But Better Than Most Emerging Markets

Posted by: David Rocks on January 13

After the Satyam scandal, I started wondering how corporate governance in India stacks up against other emerging markets. I did a bit of digging around online, and found an interesting...

CES Recap: Hard Times Bring Some Cutbacks

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 13

Would the recession put a damper on the tech industry’s glitziest event of the year? That’s one question I hoped to answer last weekend at the Consumer Electronics Show inside...

Will Sony Post a Loss This Year?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 12

Just last month, Sony announced plans to lay off thousands of employees, delay spending on factories, and streamline its supply chain for semiconductor chips and flat TVs. The cutbacks, which...

SAP's golden opportunity in Satyam

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on January 12

As the Satyam drama unfolds, becomes more mysterious and draws other players into its web of deception, the immediate thoughts of investors and analysts are: Will Satyam as a company...

After Satyam: Is Wipro Next?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 12

The fall of Satyam was supposed to have created a big opportunity for Wipro. The Indian outsourcing powerhouse, a member of India's Big Three (along with Infosys and TCS), might...

China's Economy Needs "Faith and Determination," says Premier Wen

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on January 12

"Our aim is to be the first to recover from the financial crisis. We must have faith and determination." That’s the optimistic goal and call for confidence, set over the...

Some relief on the Satyam front

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on January 11

The afternoon of Sunday, January 11, brought the first relief to the distressed employees, customers and shareholders of Satyam Computers, the fourth largest Indian software services company whose owner confessed...

CES: Another Green Label for the Tech Sector?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 09

Greenpeace and other environmental groups have been one of the driving forces behind the tech makers’ drive to make their gizmos eco-friendly. On Jan. 8 Greenpeace released a 27-page report,...

CES: Is 3-D Video Ready for Prime Time?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 09

It was billed as one of the highlights of the Consumer Electronics Show, the annual geekfest held in Las Vegas. On Jan. 8, Sony teamed up with Fox Sports and...

CES: Panasonic Announces TV Spending Cuts

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 09

Japan’s tech makers are pouring on the glitz at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but not all is well for many of them in TV-land. On Jan. 9,...

Korean Carmaker Ssangyong Seeks Receivership

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 09

South Korea’s cash-strapped Ssangyong Motor sought court receivership on Jan. 9 to buy time to restructure itself in the face of plunging sales and a liquidity crisis. The move came...

Toyota: Change at the Top Looks Closer

Posted by: Ian Rowley on January 09

More news on the possible replacement of Toyota chief Katsuaki Watanabe with Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder. Today's Nikkei newspaper reckons Toyoda's appointment could be decided as early...

CES: LG's Dick Tracy Watch Phone

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 09

The watch phone has been a techie dream since the Dick Tracy comics popularized the idea in the mid-1940s. Developing one, though, has been a lot trickier. LG Electronics’s Woo...

The Satyam Saga...and more

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on January 08

The Satyam saga gets murkier. This morning brought news that Satyam chairman Ramalingam Raju was absconding with his CFO, followed by information that two American law firms representing Satyam’s ADR...

Michael Phelps Million Dollar Mazda Sponsorship in China

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on January 08

Chalk up another new record set by U.S. swimming sensation Michael Phelps. The winner of eight Olympic gold medals at last summer's games is returning to Beijing this month as...

Who Wins from India's Satyam Scandal?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 08

Where's Raju? That's a question people in India are now asking. A day after his shocking confession of fraud at Satyam Computer Services, disgraced former chairman B. Ramalinga Raju's whereabouts...

CES: Sony's Tiny Notebook, Yahoo! on TV

Posted by: Kenji Hall on January 08

Sony announced today its plans to sell what it says is the world’s lightest notebook PC. The new ultra-thin notebook, dubbed the P series, will weigh just 1.4 pounds and...

Nikkei: American Zombies May Attack Japan Inc.

Posted by: David Rocks on January 07

A decade ago, Americans and Europeans criticized Japan for its so-called “zombie companies”--moribund enterprises on government-funded life support. Now, the zombies may be rising again, but this time they’re more...

Hong Kong Dogs Latest Victims of Credit Crunch

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on January 06

Consider the plight of Hong Kong’s pedigree pooches. According to the South China Morning Post [you need a subscription to link to this story, but try this link instead the...

Chinese companies: Welcome in India after all?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 05

Back in 2006, I blogged about some of the problems Chinese telecom equipment makers were having as they tried to break into the Indian market. The post had the headline...

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