Archives: March 2009

Google Moves on China Music

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on March 31

With its March 30 announcement that it is moving into music search in China, Google is hoping to narrow the gap with its mainland rival Baidu.com. According to research firm...

Buzz Over Sony's 'Big' PlayStation Announcement Trumps Reality

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 31

Don’t be surprised if the gaming blogosphere lets out a primal scream of disappointment. After speculating for weeks about what Sony’s videogaming unit was planning to announce this week, bloggers...

Japan Prime Minister's Stimulus Plan Targets Voters, G20

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 31

On March 31, Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso pledged to spend more public money to ease some of the pain caused by the faltering economy. In a speech televised live...

As GM's Wagoner finally goes, Japanese CEOs must wonder how he lasted so long

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 30

I'd love to know what Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota's outgoing president, thinks now that General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner is finally losing his job. Watanabe, after all, is also on the...

China's "One Gerbil" Population Policy: Rodents on the Pill

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on March 27

It’s not as if China’s dry regions don’t already have enough trouble with drought. Water scarcity in the north and west of the country is a chronic problem, as is...

Morgan Stanley, Mitsubishi UFJ To Merge Securities Biz in Japan

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 26

This week was a busy one for Japan’s biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. On March 23, the bank announced that it would lay off 1,000 employees and shut 50...

India's terror threat and Allen Stanford stymie cricket's goldrush

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 26

So much for cricket’s brave new world. A year ago the game, which dates back four centuries, was brimming with a newly found optimism. A new tournament in India, which...

North Korea's Dangerous Game

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 25

Brinksmanship. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as "the art or practice of pushing a dangerous situation or confrontation to the limit of safety especially to force a desired outcome." It's...

Dog Bites Man. China Blocks YouTube

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on March 24

Google has confirmed that YouTube once again is down in China, apparently a victim of Chinese censorship. The video-sharing service is a favorite target of China's censors; see this Eye...

In Japan, A Victory For Baseball and TV Tech

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 24

It was one of those days in Tokyo when cellphone TVs were the indispensable gadget to own. Japan, gunning for its second straight World Baseball Classic title, was playing Korea in the championship game, at Dodger Stadium, in Los Angeles.

China Scores Major Coup in Satellite Space Race

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on March 23

The first time I blogged about China’s satellite rocket launch business, certain readers pointed out to me that I had strayed woefully out of my depth. And were it not...

China's Economy and the Crisis

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on March 18

There are two interesting pieces in the media this week looking at how China’s economy may change in response to the world financial crisis. On March 16 Keith Bradsher writes...

Toyota to offer cheaper Prius in Japan?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 16

If reports in Japan prove to be correct, the battle between Honda's new Insight and the Toyota Prius is about to get a little rougher. Today's Nikkei newspaper is reporting...

Mazda's stock surges

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 16

It's been a miserable few months for Japan's automakers and Mazda is no exception. On Mar. 3, its stock reached a three-decade low amid concerns over its finances. Like all...

World's Worst Air is in New Delhi

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on March 12

According to a new ranking by ECA International, New Delhi has the world's worst air pollution. But don't gloat, all you China boosters out there: Beijing is right behind India's...

Is Japan Helpless To Help Itself?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 12

Dreary news about the economy comes in big dollops these days. The latest: Revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures confirming that Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized 12.1% in the...

Honda's Insight makes a solid start in Japan

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 11

The new Honda Insight hybrid is doing well in Japan. Since going on sale on Feb. 6, Honda has received 18,000 orders or about three times its initial target. Of...

HSBC's Flockhart Goes into Damage Control Mode

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on March 10

It was standing room only on the 40th Floor of HSBC's splendid Hong Kong headquarters. Clearly the Bank [as it is known here in Hong Kong] had put the PR...

Japan's All Nippon Airways Tries All-For-One Sales Strategy

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 09

The economic downturn has made the Japanese infrequent flyers. But All Nippon Airways, Japan’s No. 1 carrier and the world’s biggest (by passenger totals), has what amounts to a hail-mary...

Return of Olympic Hero Liu Xiang Good News for China's Fans and Coke

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on March 09

Here’s some good news for China’s sports fans. Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang, who was forced to pull out of the Beijing games last August because of injury, has arrived back...

Coke Sends a Message to China Officials

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on March 06

For almost half a year, Coca-Cola executives have been waiting for China to give the OK to Coke's proposed takeover of Huiyuan, the big Chinese juice company. Coke announced the...

Korean Policymakers Still Don’t Get It

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on March 05

It’s hard to understand why the South Korean won is the worst performing major currency if you listen to the country’s policymakers explaining about the current economic predicament. Finance Minister...

Cathay Pacific Apologizes to YouTube Temper Tantrum Star

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on March 05

The woman who became a YouTube sensation after a video of her throwing a temper tantrum at the Hong Kong airport has received an apology from Cathay Pacific. According to...

Premier Wen Jiabao: China's Economic Challenges

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on March 05

At the opening of the annual National People’s Congress this morning in Beijing, the mood was mainly somber. In the work report—sort of like a Chinese version of the State...

Indian Controversy over Art Auction of Gandhi's Artifacts

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on March 04

Recently Eye on Asia has followed the controversy over two Ming dynasty bronzes that were put up for auction as part of the sale of the Yves Saint Laurent art...

Should Japan Spend Public Funds To Prop Up Stocks?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 03

Tokyo stocks are down this morning, hovering again near a 26-year low. So it’s no surprise that the Japanese politicians are wringing their hands and considering the prospect of a...

Cricket and terrorism: Barbarians at Lahore's gates

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on March 03

This morning, the Sri Lankan cricket team touring Pakistan was attacked by gunmen as the team was alighting the bus to enter Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Six of the Sri...

Japan: Emperor may visit Pearl Harbor in July

Posted by: Ian Rowley on March 02

Before becoming Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner wasted no time warning Japan that the Obama Administration would not welcome any attempts by Tokyo to weaken the yen. "It's very important for...

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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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