UCWeb becomes first Chinese Internet company to hit No. 1 in India, adds Jack Ma to board

UCWeb becomes first Chinese Internet company to hit No. 1 in India, adds Jack Ma to board

BY HAMISH MCKENZIE 
ON AUGUST 21, 2013

Historically, Chinese Internet companies haven’t had much luck when it comes to international expansion. Ecommerce giant Alibaba attempted to enter the US a few years ago, only to ultimately consolidate its operations back within the borders of the Middle Kingdom. More recently, China’s tech industry focus has switched to Tencent, the country’s largest Internet company, which is moving aggressively to push its WeChat messaging app into global market.

Read more of this post

With Only One Year, Qihoo Is about to Take over A Quarter of China’s Search Market

With Only One Year, Qihoo Is about to Take over A Quarter of China’s Search Market

By Tracey Xiang on August 6, 2013

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Shortly after its launch in the same month of last year, Qihoo’s search service became the second largest in China. Later, unsurprisingly, it became a full-fledged search service with the launch of an independent search site, more vertical channels such as musicmedical & healthcareshopping, maps (powered by AutoNavi), and Weibo serach (powered by Yunyun), and a mobile version. One the mobile end it came up with Leidian.com, an app search that is complementary to its mobile app manager.

As of June 2013, it had pocketed 16.58% search market share and a 15.26% share in usage, according to CNZZ, a third-party online data service. (Update: August 7th when the company celebrated the first birthday, Qi Xiangdong, president of Qihoo claimed its market share had reached 20% citing a research report by iResearch) Considering it is in talks with Sogou, the third largest search engine with a 9% market share, on potential acquisition or a strategic investment and now is powering the search business of Netease’s, what it is involved is about a quarter of China’s search market. Earlier this year, Qi said that their goal for this year is a 20% market share and that for 2015 is 40%. Read more of this post

Wealth of coal magnates declines as industry slumps in China

Wealth of coal magnates declines as industry slumps in China

Staff Reporter

2013-08-22

Liu Xuming’s name was once considered synonymous with an express ticket to wealth due to his position as a coal mine owner in Shenmu county in northwestern China’s Shaanxi province. But his name is now associated with fraud and lost profits after coal prices in the country slumped.

Liu is being held at a detention center in Shenmu on fraud charges. The 30-year-old allegedly collected funds from investors to be channeled into coal assets, but was unable to pay them back due to the slowdown in the county’s coal industry. Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the county’s government building on July 15 after rumors circulated online that Liu had fled the country. Read more of this post

US blockbusters doing better in China than at home

US blockbusters doing better in China than at home

Xinhua 

2013-08-21

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A poster for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. (Internet photo)

US science fiction blockbuster Pacific Rim has remained top of China’s box office charts for a third consecutive week, having performed poorly in the US film market. According to box office figures by China Film News on Tuesday, the monsters-vs-robot film set in the near future, had taken 640 million yuan (US$104.5 million) by the week ending Aug. 18 since it debuted in late July. However, it only took US$52.3 million in its first week at the US box office and dropped by 57.2% in the second week. Read more of this post

People are dumping their yuan, which may spell more bad news for the Chinese economy

People are dumping their yuan, which may spell more bad news for the Chinese economy

By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros 10 hours ago

Yesterday, Reuters warned of an emerging trend in China: rising demand for foreign currency among China’s banking customers, who bought 24.5 billion yuan ($4 billion) more of it in July than they did in June. That was only just more than half of the 41.2 billion yuan more in foreign currencies bought in June than in May—and was still a relatively small amount of money. But it was the second month in a row that capital flowed out of China, after six months of flowing in. Here’s a look at the trend:

net-sales-of-foreign-exchange_chartbuilder

This is somewhat odd given that holding onto yuan, a currency that has been steadily strengthening against the US dollar, is widely considered to be a safe and easy investment. Some think the only reason to trade out of that yuan investment would be major concern about the health of the Chinese economy. As a result, capital flight is sometimes seen as a bet against China’s economy. And there’s good reason to take that bet; so far in 2013, China’s economy looks set to slow more than it has in 23 years. Read more of this post

Foreign automakers can expect more probes in China: Xinhua

Foreign automakers can expect more probes in China: Xinhua

Xinhua

2013-08-22

China’s price regulatory and anti-trust authorities have been closely watching excessively high prices of cars produced by foreign companies and joint ventures for over two years, sources in the National Development and Reform Commission told Xinhua earlier this week. Car industry could be the latest target of a campaign launched by the Chinese government against price-fixing, monopoly and other malpractices by multinational companies. Earlier this month, the commission fined six foreign milk powder makers over foul play. The monitoring, and potential investigation, aims at protecting consumers’ interests and ensuring full and open competition in the Chinese market. Facing a diligent watchdog and a better regulated market here, foreign firms now need to do some homework to adapt to the new environment. Read more of this post

China Animal Testing Complicates L’Oreal’s Expansion; China is the only major market where companies must test their mascaras and lotions on animals. Rabbits are killed or ingredients dripped into their eyes during Chinese tests

Rabbits Pay the Price As L’Oreal to P&G Expand in China

L’Oreal SA’s (OR) push into China’s $32 billion beauty market has a hidden cost — if you’re a rabbit or a mouse.

The Paris-based maker of shampoos and lipsticks this month agreed to pay $843 million for Chinese cosmetics face-mask maker Magic Holdings International Ltd. (1633), accelerating expansion into the world’s second-biggest economy, where it got about 6 percent of sales in 2012. While L’Oreal is barred by European Union rules from testing on animals within the EU, China’s government requires such trials for every new beauty product. Read more of this post

‘Sea turtles’ who swim out again; The Chinese managers seeking top international jobs

August 21, 2013 5:41 pm

‘Sea turtles’ who swim out again

By Alicia Clegg

When foreign investment took off in China in the 1980s, Dinggui Gao enrolled locally for an MBA. If this impressed his neighbours, however, it was possibly because they were fans of American basketball rather than of US management programmes. “Hardly anyone in China had heard of the MBA, but the NBA was very popular,” he recalls. “A Chinese newspaper even ran advertising explaining that they had nothing to do with each other.” Read more of this post

Sunset For Hong Kong Real Estate Run? Property prices in Hong Kong are now 40% higher than 1997 values – a time just before the devastating Asian Financial Tsunami hit the regional real estate market particularly hard

Sunset For Hong Kong Real Estate Run?

Written by Andrew Vanburen (China Correspondent)

Thursday, 22 August 2013 07:00

PROPERTY PRICES in Hong Kong are now 40% higher than 1997 values – a time just before the devastating Asian Financial Tsunami hit the regional real estate market particularly hard.

This is prompting market watchers to ask: Are prices sustainable?
Most of us can clearly remember the haunting images of half-finished luxury housing projects on pristineThai beaches and pitch darkoffice towers from Seoul to Hong Kong during the asset bubble burst that seemed to hit every Asian country but China a decade-and-a-half ago.
At the time, Hong Kong was awash with not only an overblown property market, but excitement mixed with a bit of nervousness as the Special Administrative Region reverted to Beijing rule in mid-1997. Read more of this post

Buyers Show Appetite for Hong Kong’s ParknShop

Aug 21, 2013

Buyers Show Appetite for Hong Kong’s ParknShop

By Prudence Ho and Yvonne Lee

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Hong Kong’s high rents and wages are apparently no deterrent for companies aiming to seize control of tycoon Li Ka-Shing’s Hong Kong-based ParknShop grocery chain, which could fetch up to US$4 billion. Last week, eight companies, including private-equity firm TPG Group as well as incumbent Hong Kong supermarket operators Aeon Co.6599.KU -1.59% and China Resources Enterprise Ltd.0291.HK -2.74%, submitted bids for ParknShop, which started a sale process in June. While the attraction of China’s fragmented supermarket industry is easy to explain, the allure of Hong Kong’s mature market is less evident. Read more of this post

Whole Foods’ Battle for the Organic Shopper; Upscale Grocer Aims to Shed Pricey Reputation With More Discounts and Lower-Priced Items

August 21, 2013, 8:00 p.m. ET

Whole Foods’ Battle for the Organic Shopper

Upscale Grocer Aims to Shed Pricey Reputation With More Discounts and Lower-Priced Items

JULIE JARGON

Whole Foods Market Inc. WFM -0.46% wants to shed its “whole paycheck” reputation. The upscale grocer, known for its pricey organic products, is increasingly emulating the discount tactics used by traditional supermarkets. It is also moving beyond the realm of grass-fed beef with more lower-priced items like frozen meatballs and vacuum-packed fish fillets. The new strategy comes as Whole Foods fends off a growing swarm of rivals competing for customers who have become more careful with their pocketbooks.

Read more of this post

This $1,695 Chair Symbolizes The Biggest Problem At JCPenney; CEO Touts Towels, Cookware to Stem Losses

This Chair Symbolizes The Biggest Problem At JCPenney

ASHLEY LUTZ AUG. 21, 2013, 3:49 PM 12,247 23

JCPenney executives blame the retailer’s newly renovated home department for rapidly declining sales and profits. Failed CEO Ron Johnson burned cash revamping the home store and getting designer names like Martha Stewart, Michael Graves, and Jonathan Adler. The problem? JCPenney shoppers won’t shell out more for designer labels. Right now, JCPenney’s home store is full of upmarket items that don’t resonate with the middle market core customer, reports Matt Townsend at Bloomberg. Take this $1,695 Jonathan Adler chair (now on sale for $1,015):

screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.09.45 pm

This accent chair comes at a price that most JCPenney shoppers would find exorbitant. In fact, JCPenney has a similar, unbranded chair on sale for $355.  Merchandise assortments like the chair show former CEO Ron Johnson’s fundamental lack of understanding of JCPenney’s core customers.  Interim CEO Mike Ullman stressed that the home department will be revamped again to better suit customers’ tastes.  With sales down 12%, JCPenney desperately needs a change.  Read more of this post

New tastes, nimble fashion rivals squeeze top U.S. teen chains Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale; young shoppers are now less interested their logo-centric clothes and more eager to shop for Zara, Forever 21, H&M

New tastes, nimble fashion rivals squeeze top U.S. teen chains

12:06am EDT

By Phil Wahba and Dhanya Skariachan

(Reuters) – Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N: QuoteProfile,ResearchStock Buzz), Aeropostale Inc (ARO.N: Quote,ProfileResearchStock Buzz) and American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEO.N: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) have fallen out of fashion with fickle U.S. teen shoppers and aren’t likely to win back their business anytime soon.

The retailers, known as the “3As,” have long been popular for their cool basics like jeans, hoodies and t-shirts. But young shoppers are now less interested in their logo-centric clothes and more eager to shop for electronics or go to low-cost, fast-fashion chains like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M that offer greater variety more quickly. Read more of this post

Heineken, Carlsberg Hit by Weak European Demand; World’s No. 3 and 4 Brewers Keep Looking to Emerging Markets

August 21, 2013, 3:01 a.m. ET

Heineken, Carlsberg Hit by Weak European Demand

World’s No. 3 and 4 Brewers Keep Looking to Emerging Markets

ROBIN VAN DAALEN and CLEMENS BOMSDORF

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Brewers are continuing to struggle with weak demand in Europe and an improvement isn’t expected this year, Heineken NV HEINY -4.17% and CarlsbergCARL-A.KO +0.34% said Wednesday, with both adding that they will pursue further cost cuts and look to emerging markets to boost their businesses. Like Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev ABI.BT -0.01% and U.K.-based SABMillerSAB.LN -0.88% PLC, Heineken and Carlsberg say sales were hurt by bad weather and slack demand in Western Europe and the U.S. Read more of this post

Beauty, skin products turn into ‘spray, spritz and go’ affair; Beauty consumers seem to like the delivery of their products with the touch of a button, and brands are obliging them with more spray-on items

Beauty, skin products turn into ‘spray, spritz and go’ affair

AP

AUG 21, 2013

NEW YORK – Beauty consumers seem to like the delivery of their products with the touch of a button, and brands are obliging them with more spray-on items. What had been the domain of sunscreen also now belongs to moisturizers, shampoo and cosmetics: It’s spray, spritz and go.

“Sprays in beauty can be a game-changer,” said Marie Claire beauty and health director Erin Flaherty. She predicted that people will use these products more frequently, more regularly and maybe share with other family members. Read more of this post

Is A Foundering India About To Flood The Gold Market With 200 Tons Of “Leased” Gold

Is A Foundering India About To Flood The Gold Market With 200 Tons Of “Leased” Gold

Tyler Durden on 08/21/2013 18:05 -0400

The truth behind the saying “never let a crisis go to waste” transcends both time and space, and it most certainly has no problem crossing the border into India, which over the past weeks has found itself in full monetary crisis, and whose currency is plunging to fresh record lows on a daily basis forcing its central bank to scramble with both tightening and QE at the same time. And if the influential Hindu Business Line, is correct, India’s crisis is about to become someone’s opportunity. Potentially for that someone which over the past two months has found themselves in a huge physical gold shortage as the now constantly negative GOFO rates confirm. Because according to Royal Bank of India sources cited by the HBL, India is now considering leasing out the 200 tonnes of gold it bought from the International Monetary Fund in 2009. Read more of this post

Indian Outsourcing Firms Gain as Rupee Falls; Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Get Earnings Boost, Thanks to Revenue Generated Abroad

August 21, 2013, 1:52 p.m. ET

Indian Outsourcing Firms Gain as Rupee Falls

Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Get Earnings Boost, Thanks to Revenue Generated Abroad

DHANYA ANN THOPPIL

BANGALORE, India—The sharp decline in the value of the rupee is a potential windfall for India’s information-technology outsourcing industry. That is because companies like Wipro Ltd., 507685.BY -0.48% Infosys Ltd.500209.BY -1.59% and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. 532540.BY -1.07% generate more than 90% of their revenue from outside the country. “The depreciation of the rupee is positive for all exporters, including Infosys,” said V. Balakrishnan, a director and former finance chief for the company. Read more of this post

Dithering is the root of India’s problems; Rather than soothing investors’ nerves, the central bank’s stop-start measures have the whiff of panic

August 21, 2013 4:46 pm

The dithering state is at the heart of India’s problems

By David Pilling

Rather than soothing investors’ nerves, the central bank’s stop-start measures have the whiff of panic

Not long ago it became fashionable to liken India to a tortoise, poised, by virtue of its democratic institutions and favourable demographics, to overtake the Chinese hare. Now there is a better comparison. More and more, it resembles a deer caught in the headlights. To be fair, the headlights are dazzling and the deer has few places to run. Likeemerging market economies everywhere, India is suffering from the prospect of a gradual withdrawal of stimulus by the US Federal Reserve and a rise in American interest rates. That has produced a giant sucking sound as risk capital retreats. The hot money outflow, though, is just the start of India’s problems. Growth has almost halved from a few years ago to 5 per cent, unacceptably low for a country with such potential and so much poverty. The current account and budget deficits are troublingly wide and the rupee has been dropping like a stoneSotto voce, officials have been mouthing three of the scariest words known to humanity: International Monetary Fund. Read more of this post

Delhi to tax TVs brought in by individuals; Customs duty of 36% aimed at helping to buoy rupee

Delhi to tax TVs brought in by individuals

Customs duty of 36% from Monday aimed at helping to buoy rupee

Katy Daigle, The Associated Press, New Delhi | Business | Wed, August 21 2013, 10:20 AM

Indians returning from abroad bring nearly 3,000 flat screen televisions into the country a day, turning airport luggage belts into revolving electronics displays. A stiff new customs duty aims to sink that popular trade as officials scramble to halt a dizzying plunge in the rupee. The 36-percent TV tax is the latest in a slew of measures the government has announced to steady the currency and is a sign, critics say, of its increasing desperation. New limits were imposed on the amount of money individuals and companies can invest overseas. Higher taxes were slapped on gold imports. Interest rates on rupee deposits were raised. All to no avail. Read more of this post

An Inside View of Indian Politics

An Inside View of Indian Politics

Next year, India will hold its 16th general election since independence. Thousands of candidates from dozens of major and minor political parties will attempt, over a mammoth multiphase poll lasting about a month, to persuade voters in 543 constituencies — each having, on average, more than 1 million adult voters — that they are worthy of the biggest prize in Indian politics: entry into the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament.

The story of Indian democracy, now in its seventh decade, is so unusual and so wonderful that there is hardly any lack of people to tell it. The academic literature on India’s electoral system, major political parties, voting patterns, single-party and coalition governments, and the influence of caste, religion and gender on politics would fill a library the size of the White House. Equally, state and national elections consume a vast amount of journalistic space and editorial attention, and over the next year every variable that might affect next year’s results will be analyzed minutely in the Indian media (except, as we shall soon see, for one factor: the role of the press itself in influencing election results). Read more of this post

Indonesia’s notorious oil and gas mafia, which has existed since the beginning of the New Order in the 1960s, is responsible for institutionalized corruption that has pushed up fuel prices and drained state revenue

The Thinker: Mr. Two Dollars

By Yanto Soegiarto on 10:05 pm August 21, 2013.
The oil and gas industry is indeed slippery. Whoever is at the top, whether he or she is a professor, academic or an honest person, can easily be influenced by the glitter of gold and money. This appears to be demonstrated in the case of Prof. Rudi Rubiandini, the former head of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas) who was allegedly caught red handed by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars in an alleged bribery case. Read more of this post

Spreading the word through manga

Spreading the word through manga

BY PATRICK ST. MICHEL

SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES

AUG 21, 2013

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Videos of anime conventions in America greet visitors to Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art at this summer’s “The Power Of Manga — Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori” exhibition. Looped footage of attendants in cosplay at the Los Angeles Anime Expo and other similar events play, while a “prologue” banner nearby declares in Japanese and English, “Manga is a cultural genre of which Japan can be proud of.” It seems as if you are just steps away from a grand manifestation of “Cool Japan” — the country’s way of spreading “soft power” via pop culture. And since Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry assisted with putting this together, that actually is one of the show’s objectives. Read more of this post

Japan Races To Contain Worst Fukushima Spill Since Meltdown

Updated August 21, 2013, 5:04 p.m. ET

Japan Races To Contain Worst Fukushima Spill Since Meltdown

Leak Is Prompting Fresh Scrutiny of Handling of Nuclear Site

PHRED DVORAK

AI-CD023A_WATER_G_20130821140006

TOKYO—Japan is scrambling to contain its worst spill of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since its meltdown more than two years ago, drawing fresh scrutiny to what experts say remains its shortsighted handling of the site. On Wednesday, Japan’s nuclear watchdog declared that the plant had suffered a “serious incident”—level “3” on an international scale—after operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. 9501.TO -4.49% said that some 300 metric tons, or 79,000 gallons, of highly radioactive water had leaked from a hastily built storage tank and warned that roughly 300 more of the potentially leaky tanks existed. It was the first declaration of a nuclear incident in Japan since regulators classed the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant a level “7”—the highest—in 2011. Read more of this post

Korea pension fund NPS emerges as Samsung Electronics’ largest institutional shareholder with 7.43% stake

NPS emerges as Samsung Electronics’ largest institutional shareholder

Sohn Il-sun

2013.08.21

National Pension Service (NPS) became the largest institutional shareholder in Samsung Electronics exceeding Samsung Life Insurance in the first half of this year, while Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, still controls the company as the largest shareholder with a 17.67 percent stake, according to Samsung Electronics’ half-year report submitted to the Financial Supervisory Service on Wednesday. As of end-June, NPS held a 7.43 percent stake in Samsung Electronics, up by 0.24 percentage point, from 7.19 percent from the end of last year, the report showed. Industry sources note NPS seems to have increased its stake by buying more stocks since May, when the price of Samsung Electronics began to decline. In contrast, Samsung Life Insurance’s stake in Samsung Electronics stood at 7.21 percent. An NPS official said asset management companies commissioned by NPS bought Samsung Electronics shares additionally, leading to an increased NPS stake, but there is no specific intention. Attention is being paid to whether NPS will use its voting right that could affect the company’s management.

Shifting from jeonse to monthly rent is an unavoidable and natural trend; setting a ceiling on jeonse prices and monthly rent will prompt jeonse prices and monthly rent to spike even more before its introduction and weaken the supply

2013-08-21 17:16

Housing woes

Fundamental solution is to help boost transactions 
Alarmed by President Park Geun-hye’s repeated instructions to combat the latest housing problem, the administration is busy mapping out new and viable measures. As this page pointed out earlier, however, there is no magic solution to the problem arising from drastic changes in our housing market.
The most urgent problem is that prices of ”jeonse,’’ a property rental system unique to Korea under which tenants pay upfront instead of monthly rent, are going up steeply in this summer off-season. If this trend continues, there could be tremendous turmoil in the fall housing relocation season. Read more of this post

Japan will be a good example for South Korea to consider when looking at lowering the suicide rate; measures included focusing on debtors and patients suffering from depression, and increasing the budget toward anti-suicide efforts

2013-08-21 17:15

Student suicides

It’s well known that South Korea has the highest suicide rate among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Sadly, the number of children who commit suicide is believed to be no less dire than those by adults.
A report released Tuesday by Rep. An Min-suk of the main opposition Democratic Party showed that 139 primary and secondary school students killed themselves last year. The figure was the lowest in three years, but still worryingly hovers above 100. In 2009, 202 students took their own lives, and the number fell to 146 in 2010 and 150 in 2011.
Of the 139 students who committed suicide last year, 88 were high school students, 48 were middle school students and three were in elementary school.
While financial woes were the biggest reason behind many of the suicides in the overall suicide statistics, about 40 percent, or 56 of the 139 students, were motivated by family-related problems. According to the report, 16 percent were triggered by depression and 11.5 percent by exam-related stress. Read more of this post

Wipro Unza group has a value market share of more than 48% as Malaysia’s largest halal personal care company.

Updated: Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 7:59:52 AM

The beauty of never-ending growth

BY KARINA FOO
PHOTOS BY AZLINA ABDULLAH

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Confident: Kumar (pictured) says the Wipro Unza group has a value market share of more than 48% as Malaysia’s largest halal personal care company.

IT IS usually the toiletries aisles of a supermarket or health care store that is the most colourful and intriguing. Even if a shopper has no intention of purchasing any of these products that range from hair gels or creams, fragrances and shampoos to body washes, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a whiff of the fragrant scents featured by the number of brands on display. Such products are classified as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) within the beauty and personal care industry with a heavy emphasis on marketing and packaging to attract consumers as well as to keep up with the intense competition. Read more of this post

Since the late 1980s Gentrack has been creating specialist ERP software for utility companies and airports. Today, more than 150 customers in 25 countries use its products

SPECIALIST SOLUTIONS

20 August 2013

By James Docking, CEO of Gentrack

Gentrack

Since the late 1980s Gentrack has been creating specialist ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for utility companies and airports. Today, more than 150 customers in 25 countries use its products. CEO James Docking comments on the company’s successes and challenges and why it is vital to have people in market who understand the local ways of doing business. Most of our business comes from the specialised and growing niche of utility billing and CRM software for energy and water utilities. Having secured the business of about 30 local utility companies, we expanded into Australia in 1994. Gentrack is now the leading vendor in water and aeronautical billing in Australia, and our presence in the energy sector is growing. In 2012, for the first time in 25 years, Gentrack’s revenues from Australian airport and utility customers exceeded those from New Zealand. Read more of this post

GST hike ‘more likely’ if Singapore Govt needs to raise revenue for new initiatives

GST hike ‘more likely’ if Govt needs to raise revenue for new initiatives

SINGAPORE — The Government is unlikely to raise income tax to pay for the slew of healthcare, housing and infrastructure initiatives announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally as doing so could risk damaging Singapore’s appeal for businesses and investors.

BY WONG WEI HAN –

6 HOURS 2 MIN AGO

SINGAPORE — The Government is unlikely to raise income tax to pay for the slew of healthcare, housing and infrastructure initiatives announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally as doing so could risk damaging Singapore’s appeal for businesses and investors. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) might instead be the first in line for an increase should the Government need to raise revenue to help build a stronger social safety net, economists have told TODAY. Read more of this post

Mobile app Fruit Ninja With 700 million downloads helps Taiwan’s farmers get an extra slice

Fruit Ninja helps Taiwan’s farmers get an extra slice

CNA

2013-08-22

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One of the developers of the popular app Fruit Ninja gives a speech at the Global Mobile Internet Conference held in Beijing on May 10, 2012. (Photo/Xinhua)

Players of mobile app Fruit Ninja are now just a click and tap away from boosting produce sales and farmers’ income in Taiwan, a local marketing company said on Wednesday. “Working with a world-renowned, popular and free game app, we would like to use a new approach to help market local produce,” the Taipei-based CrossMedia Group said in a statement. Players of Fruit Ninja, which has 700 million downloads worldwide, can now order all kinds of in-season produce directly from farmers in Taiwan while having fun slicing fruit in half, the company said. Read more of this post

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