IDB approves 756 aid requestsSTAYING AFLOAT: IDB has issued NT$734 million in subsidies to help companies pay wages last month for up to 33,957 employees, and it plans another NT$1.12 billionBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterThe Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) has approved 756 of 1,224 applications from companies seeking government subsidies due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said yesterday. Of the approved applications, 280 are from base metal and machinery equipment makers, 188 are from consumer goods and chemical materials manufacturers, and 120 are from information and communication technology companies, IDB data showed. The remaining applications are from businesses across various sectors, such as design, tourism and knowledge-based industries. It is aimed at providing financial aid to businesses from the manufacturing and services sectors that are struggling with the effects of the pandemic. “After discussions with industry representatives, we have decided to maintain the 50 percent threshold while loosening certain criteria,” he said.
AUO to spin off higher-margin display businessesA NEW HOPE: Under the plan, the NT$386 million public information and general purpose displays groups would become Da Qing Corp, pending shareholder approvalBy Lisa Wang / Staff ReporterLCD panel maker AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) yesterday unveiled a plan to demerge its higher-margin public information and general purpose displays businesses, marking its first spin-off. Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei TimesDa Qing would focus on sales, research and development, and customer service of general purpose and public information displays, AUO said in a statement. AUO said that the public information display products include displays for smart retail, transportation and education, as well as specialized industrial-grade displays for harsh environments, such as outdoors. Products developed by Da Qing would deliver higher profit margins than commodity-type panels and have longer life cycles, AUO said. Rival Innolux Corp (群創) had mapped out similar plans to spin off some businesses 18 months earlier, but the firm has not yet made significant progress.
First book of ‘Son of Formosa’ series hits the shelvesBy Cheng Ming-hsiang and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe first book of a biographical comic series titled Son of Formosa (來自清水的孩子) on Tsai Kun-lin (蔡焜霖), a political prisoner during the White Terror era, hit the shelves on Tuesday. Pages from the first book of a biographical comic series on Tsai Kun-lin, a political prisoner during the White Terror era, are pictured on Wednesday. Slowork Publisher president Huang Pei-shan (黃珮珊) said the company plans to release the second book next month, and complete the whole set by next year. White Terror-era political prisoner Tsai Kun-lin, center, illustrator Chou Chien-hsin, left, and National Taitung University professor Yu Pei-yun present a copy of the first book of a biographical comic series in Taipei on Wednesday. It is highly possible that the series could become popular internationally, Huang said.
With the aid of footage provided by Coast Guard Administration surveillance cameras, investigators established the sequence of the bridge collapse, the board said. 11, the bridge and the arch above it were visibly shaking, with the bridge beginning to drop slightly at 9:30:02am. At 9:30:03am, the west end of the bridge slid down the pier, followed by the east end of the bridge. Inspection records showed that the county government inspected the bridge seven times between 2000 and 2016, but none listed suspension cables or the anchor heads as must-check items. The bridge has not been inspected since it was turned over to the bureau on April 28, 2016, investigators found.
May 05, 2020 16:00 UTC
Virus Outbreak: Virus dampens home-buying interestNEGATIVE SENTIMENT: Although the number of infections is low in Taiwan, people still refrained from making large purchases on concerns that the virus might persistBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterHousing transactions last month totaled 17,603 units in the six special municipalities, down 11.2 percent from one month earlier, as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on buying interest, analysts said. Transactions in Tainan slumped 10.8 percent to 1,697 units and weakened 9.8 percent to 3,314 units in Taoyuan. Taipei and New Taipei City were relatively resilient with declines of 6.9 percent and 5.3 percent to 2,241 and 4,591 deals respectively. The figures bucked the seasonal trend as the current quarter is normally a high season for the housing market, Hsieh said. The sentiment would erase a 2 percent annual gain in housing transactions in the first four months, Evertrust said.
Virus Outbreak: TFCF gets NT$8m from Micron Technology, staffBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterMicron Technology Taiwan and its employees donated NT$8 million (US$267,737.62) through the Micron Technology Foundation to the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (TFCF) to help support underprivileged families during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund said on Monday. The company’s matching gift program meant that contributions to the fund from more than 1,000 of its employees were doubled, the fund said. The donation was more than five times the NT$1.5 million goal the company set early last month when it launched a fundraising campaign. The painting symbolizes the COVID-19 pandemic as a nightmare. “As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, young children and their families remain especially vulnerable,” fund chief executive Betty Ho (何素秋) said.
Han defends self against recall vote on June 6Staff writer, with CNAKaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday defended himself against a recall vote that is scheduled to take place next month. Central Election Commission Chairman Lee Chin-yung makes an announcement about a recall vote against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu at the commission’s offices in Taipei yesterday. The recall vote is to take place on June 6. A recall vote is to be held on June 6. The CEC plans to open 1,823 voting booths for the recall vote, but it has yet to find enough venues to do so, as many schools have been reluctant to provide space, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
While there are legal protections against discriminatory practices in the workplace in Taiwan, their enforcement could be improved, she said. Work is an important part of people’s lives, with some people spending more time with their colleagues than their family members, she said. A majority of people who participated in the survey (84.3 percent) work full-time and more than half (58.7 percent) were aged 26 to 35. Among the respondents, 74.5 percent identified as homosexual and 22.4 percent identified as bisexual, the groups said. They said that 42.4 percent of respondents identified as cisgender male, 48.6 percent identified as cisgender female and 7.7 percent identified as transgender men or women.
Amendments to promote railway staff safety passBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterLawmakers yesterday passed proposed amendments to the Railway Act (鐵路法), including a provision that railway staff should be equipped with safety training and disease prevention skills. Apart from being tasked with disease prevention and safety response capabilities, railway staff should familiarize themselves with disease prevention or safety equipment used by rail operators, the amendment says. Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang bangs the gavel as lawmakers pass the third reading of amendments to the Railway Act at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. Railway staff must comply with accident investigations by the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board, they say. The legislature also passed an article stipulating that products used on rail systems must be certified by institutes recognized by the ministry.
Virus Outbreak: CECC considers more spectators at CPBL gamesBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterThe Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported no new cases of COVID-19 and is mulling allowing a maximum of 1,000 spectators at CPBL games. The Rakuten Monkeys compete against the CTBC Brothers in a closed-door CPBL game at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium on Sunday. The CPBL on April 12 became the first professional baseball league in the world to start its season this year, with games being played behind closed doors. Photo: Wu Liang-yi, Taipei TimesThe CPBL yesterday said it is hoping to allow spectators back into its stadiums as early as Friday. To mark World Hand Hygiene Day, officials at the center used paint to demonstrate how people should wash their hands.
A team from National Chiao Tung University that developed the system on Monday said that preliminary tests carried out at campus cafeteria and classrooms showed 95 percent accuracy. The team was led by Cheng Wen-huang (鄭文皇) and Shuai Hong-han (帥宏翰), a professor and assistant professor in the electrical engineering department. Cheng Wen-huang, center, a National Chiao Tung University professor, and assistant professor Shuai Hong-han, right, take part in a news conference in Hsinchu County on Monday on their facial detection system. In such circumstances, individuals would have to stand in front of a camera for a system to be able to recognize them, Shuai said. Meanwhile, National Cheng Kung University Hospital on Monday unveiled a lightweight protective tent designed to prevent the risk of infection when medical personnel are treating a COVID-19 patient.
Center Laboratories to ‘unblind’ diabetes drug dataBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterCenter Laboratories Inc (晟德大藥廠) yesterday said that it plans to “unblind” the data from the phase II clinical trial of its diabetes drug candidate CS02 in the second half of this year, after completing the “last patient’s last visit” late last month. The firm would collect and unblind the data to see if the experimental drug is safe and effective, general manager Robert Hsu (許瑞寶) told the Taipei Times by telephone. All of the enrolled patients were type 2 diabetes patients for whom the first-line treatment metformin proved ineffective, he said. Center Laboratories aims to market CS02 as a second-line treatment for people with type 2 diabetes, Hsu said. “We would focus on the two gauges for the time being, given that global regulators have not set official gauges for the assessment of type 2 diabetes patients,” he said.
Virus Outbreak: Appeals for donors from Taiwan Blood Services FoundationBy Dennis Xie / Staff writer, with CNAThe Taiwan Blood Services Foundation yesterday called on people to donate blood, as stocks for all types are low. Demand is highest in Taipei, with stocks of O, A, B and AB enough for between three and five days, foundation public relations director Li Lei (黎蕾) said. Some Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor (TTL) Corp giveaways are displayed at a news conference in Hsinchu County yesterday to promote a blood drive the Hsinchu Blood Center and the company are cosponsoring at Big City shopping mall on Saturday. The cancelation of blood drives has contributed to the shortage, although even when collection drives have been held, turnout has been low, she said. People should not worry about donation stations’ hygienic practices, as disinfection measures are fully implemented.
Virus Outbreak: ‘Stimulus coupons’ to be in paper, digital formsBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterThe government’s planned “stimulus coupons” would come in paper form as well as the originally proposed electronic version, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. The ministry in March proposed to issue coupons in a bid to boost consumer spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “This means that the coupons would be distributed in paper and digital forms,” he said, adding that the coupons would also come in the form of discounts offered through mobile payment methods. Wu also proposed setting an early expiration date on the coupons in a bid to maximize their effect on the economy. Wang on Sunday told the state-run Central News Agency that the coupons should be distributed based on levels of income.
Photo: CNAA fourth test taken on Saturday came back positive yesterday, he said. He added that she has not developed any COVID-19 symptoms, but is being isolated in the hospital. Thirty-one people aboard the Panshih tested positive between April 18 and 25, and another four tested positive in a second testing on Sunday. Three crew members, who had earlier tested positive, were among those tested yesterday. The 344 Panshih crew members who tested negative left the quarantine facilities last night, but would continue to perform self-health management at home for seven days, he said.
May 04, 2020 15:56 UTC