South Korea’s parliament passes 2023 budget billReuters, SEOULSouth Korea’s parliament on Saturday approved South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s administration’s first full-year budget bill for next year, which cut total spending and the fiscal deficit from this year. The approved budget, valued at 638.7 trillion won (US$498.89 billion) or 6 percent less than this year’s, is set to cut the fiscal deficit to 0.6 percent of GDP from 3.3 percent this year. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during an interview with Reuters in Seoul on Nov. 28. Yoon’s government aims to contain the debt growth by keeping the fiscal deficit at 0.5 percent to 0.6 percent in each of the next several years, compared with 3.3 percent estimated for this year. The parliament also delayed the introduction of a financial investment income tax by two years.
December 26, 2022 02:26 UTC
Gasoline, diesel prices to rise due to soaring crudeBy Chen Cheng-hui / Staff reporterGasoline and diesel prices are to increase by NT$0.1 and NT$0.6 per liter respectively this week due to a rise in global crude oil prices last week, CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) said in separate statements yesterday. Effective today, gasoline prices at CPC and Formosa stations are to rise to NT$29.1, NT$30.6 and NT$32.6 per liter for 92, 95 and 98-octane unleaded gasoline respectively. CPC said that based on its floating oil price formula, the cost of crude oil rose 0.84 percent last week from a week earlier, as several factors affected market sentiment and boosted oil prices. A decrease in US crude oil inventories and plans by the US Department of Energy to replenish the nation’s strategic oil reserves also caused upward pressure on crude prices, Formosa said. The spike in global oil prices would have resulted in CPC increasing gasoline prices by NT$0.3 per liter and diesel prices by NT$0.8 per liter, but the company absorbed part of the increases to comply with the government’s price stabilization policy, it said.
December 26, 2022 02:24 UTC
TSMC to begin 3nm mass productionTAINAN FAB: The firm in an unusual move is to hold a ceremony to launch mass production, which analysts said seeks to affirm its continued presence in TaiwanStaff writer, with CNATaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) on Saturday said that it would hold a ceremony on Thursday to mark the beginning of mass production using its 3-nanometer process. It would also detail its plans for expanding 3-nanometer production at the facility in the coming years, TSMC said. It is unusual for TSMC to hold a ceremony to mark the beginning of commercial production of a new technology. The company is also developing a more sophisticated 2-nanometer process and plans to build a 2-nanometer fab in Hsinchu, with mass production scheduled to begin in 2025. Apple Inc and Intel Corp are expected to place orders for chips made with TSMC’s 3-nanometer process, analysts have said.
December 25, 2022 20:01 UTC
Before the pandemic Hong Kong’s tailors were a must-visit for many tourists thanks to their reputation for quality — and their ability to turn a bespoke suit around as little as 24 hours. Many of those tailors relocated to Hong Kong in the aftermath of the Chinese Communist Party’s civil war victory in 1949. “People can get 10 suits in Hong Kong with the frequency they get one suit in Saville Row,” said Andy Chan, President of the Hong Kong Tailors Association. “This is why everybody came to Hong Kong to get a custom-made suit for them.”TOURIST DESERTIn recent years Hong Kong’s tailoring industry has struggled against fast fashion and online sales. Hong Kong only scrapped mandatory hotel quarantine in September, long after rival hubs like Singapore had reopened to the world.
December 25, 2022 03:23 UTC
A worker looks on at a coal sorting facility in Suluktu, Kyrgyzstan, on Dec. 12. Coalminers load coal rocks into a mine cart at the Kara-Altyn Ken coal mine outside Suluktu, Kyrgyzstan, on Dec. 13. Nimadjan Abdulayevich, 64, walks past a Soviet mosaic in Suluktu, Kyrgyzstan, on Dec. 12. The mayor said he hoped Suluktu would recover its “past glory” thanks to growing demand for coal. A mosaic nearby extols the glory of Soviet power, showing a miner with a red star behind him.
December 24, 2022 21:03 UTC
Wall Street rises on new data releaseLESS JITTERY: After sell-offs on Thursday, Friday’s data eased some concerns that the Fed could keep raising rates and edge the economy into a recession, an analyst saidReutersThe S&P 500 on Friday closed higher, in a light trading day ahead of a long weekend, as investors assessed inflation data against rate hike and recession fears. The personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.1 percent last month after climbing 0.4 percent in October. Wall Street indices on Thursday sold off sharply after revised data indicated a resilient US economy, fueling worries that the Fed could keep hiking rates for longer and end up pushing the economy into a recession. “This is a clear indication that this is a bad news is good news kind of market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 176.44 points, or 0.53 percent, to 33,203.93, while the S&P 500 gained 22.43 points, or 0.59 percent, to 3,844.82.
December 24, 2022 21:02 UTC
Holiday advice for home bartenders, plus 4 festive cocktailsLooking to create a bit of winter luxury when tending bar at home this holiday season? Currently at the cocktail bar Velvet, at London’s five-star Corinthia hotel, Calabrese goes by the nickname “The Maestro.”A Wintertime Negroni cocktail. A Chocolate Orange Martini cocktail. For his chocolate orange martini, Girvan explains how he creates simple yet delicious dipped-chocolate candied fruits. ‧ MASON’S CHOCOLATE ORANGE MARTINI2 ounces chocolate vodka1 ounce triple secMix ingredients together over ice and stir.
December 24, 2022 06:54 UTC
The employment index is expected to soften in the next six months, compared with the second half of this year, the poll showed. Manufacturers also have a dim view about profit margins next year, with the profit measure dropping from 37.5 to 36, it showed. A recovery from a downturn induced by virus restrictions should sustain local service providers through next year, CIER researcher Chen Shin-hui (陳馨蕙) said. Taiwan’s loosening of COVID-19 controls raised the non-manufacturing business index by 9.4 points to 52.4 in the second half of this year, Chen said. Despite business improvement, service providers said that profit margin is expected to stay in contraction at 47.2 due to mounting operating and personnel costs, the survey showed.
December 24, 2022 04:08 UTC
Hon Hai India subsidiary granted state subsidiesPLI SCHEME: Indian authorities said Foxconn Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development has been given the green light to receive about 3.57 billion rupeesStaff writer, with CNAA Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) subsidiary has secured approval for subsidies from Indian authorities for spending and sales from its production base in the country under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, the Indian Press Information Bureau said in a statement on Wednesday. Foxconn Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development Pvt Ltd has been given the green light to receive about 3.57 billion rupees (US$43.1 million) for its spending and sales from Aug. 1 last year to March 21, the bureau said. A woman walks past signage for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co in New Taipe City yesterday. In addition to the Hon Hai unit, Padget Electronics Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned unit of Indian electronics maker Dixon Technologies Ltd, has also secured 583 million rupees, the statement said. Hon Hai Precision Industry has solid experience in producing iPhones in India, having manufactured the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 in Chennai, the sources said.
December 23, 2022 09:21 UTC
Steaker founder detained over allegations of fraudFINANCIAL ANOMALIES: Wilson Huang and four other executives could face charges for allegedly defrauding investors of more than NT$2 billion, prosecutors saidBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterWilson Huang (黃偉軒), founder and CEO of cryptocurrency asset management platform Steaker, was yesterday detained after being questioned as part of a criminal investigation into alleged fraud and other financial irregularities. Steaker, which is engaged in digital financial investment, cryptocurrency exchange and asset fund management, is suspected of defrauding investors of more than NT$2 billion (US$65.19 million). Wilson Huang, founder of digital asset management platform Steaker, is pictured in a screen grab. Wilson Huang was denied bail and detained with restricted communication to prevent him from fleeing, destroying evidence, colluding with others and hampering the investigation, prosecutors said. Steaker was founded by Wilson Huang in 2019, with its headquarters in Taipei.
December 23, 2022 02:42 UTC
Finance minister leaving post to return to teachingStaff writer, with CNAMinister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) is to step down from his post on Monday to return to teaching at National Taipei University, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said yesterday. Su has tendered his resignation and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has approved it, Lo said. Su Jain-rong has been on leave from his post at the university, where he is a professor in the Department of Public Finance. Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong, left, and Deputy Minister of Finance Frank Juan attend a news conference in Taipei on March 19, 2020. Photo: CNADeputy Minister of Finance Frank Juan (阮清華) is to take on Su Jain-rong’s duties as acting minister after his departure, Lo added.
December 23, 2022 02:18 UTC
Three firms dominate mobile network awards: reportStaff writer, with CNATaiwan’s 5G mobile network market is extremely dynamic with fierce competition, but the Mobile Experience Awards were dominated by three of the five national operators, Opensignal said in its report for this month. Opensignal is a UK-based mobile analytics company that specializes in analyzing the consumer mobile experience. Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) won all four of the speed categories: Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience, 5G Download Speed and 5G Upload Speed. Of the four, it retained three from the last report, and replaced Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) as the winner of the Upload Speed Experience category due to its a 1.8 megabits per second (Mbps), or 14.7 percent, increase in overall upload speed, Opensignal’s Taiwan Mobile Network Experience Report said. Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) was the outright winner of the Games Experience award, and tied first with Chunghwa Telecom for the Video Experience award, Voice App Experience, 5G Video Experience, 5G Games Experience and 5G Voice App Experience awards.
December 21, 2022 16:47 UTC
Afghan women defy Taliban gym ban with secret fitness clubsBy Bahaar Joya and Emma Batha / Thomson Reuters FoundationHidden in the basement of a private home in the Afghan capital Kabul, gym instructor Laila Ahmad takes a group of women through a clandestine exercise class — the windows are blacked out, there is no pumping music and visitors arrive by a back door. The Taliban banned women from gyms and parks last month, the latest clampdown in a progressive erosion of their freedoms that drew swift international condemnation. The ruling Taliban has banned women from attending university in Afghanistan, according to an order issued on Tuesday. When the Taliban shut her school, Yosef gathered together some sports equipment and moved it into her home. Her biggest fear is that the Taliban will shut the gym.
December 21, 2022 16:46 UTC
Hon Hai to sell its stake in TsinghuaUNWINDING CHINA DEAL: The company said the investment had not yet been finalized, amid an ongoing government probe that could lead to a NT$25 million fine A subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is planning to dispose of its indirect minority stake in China’s Tsinghua Unigroup Co (清華紫光), the latest sign that Beijing’s chip industry is becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. Hon Hai’s China-listed Foxconn Industrial Internet Co (FII, 富士康工業互聯網) is planning to sell the shares to Yantai Haixiu IC Investment Center (煙臺海秀積體電路產業投資中心) for no less than 5.38 billion yuan (US$771.5 million), a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing showed on Friday. Hon Hai said in a separate statement on Saturday that it decided to sell the stake to avoid uncertainty because the investment
December 20, 2022 17:11 UTC
Learning from US’ Ukraine policyBy Joseph BoscoIf Washington’s support for Ukraine against Russia’s aggression is a model for the US’ role after a Chinese attack on Taiwan, Taiwanese are in for a rough ride. Encouraged by US and NATO acquiescence, Putin planned his next move toward “national reunification” and “territorial integrity.”That move consisted of the 2014 invasion of eastern Ukraine and Crimea. No administration since 1979 has issued a definitive declaration that the US would actively defend Taiwan, aside from sending it limited arms with which it could try to defend itself. Biden attempted to shed new light on the situation by stating four times, in increasingly specific terms, that the US would send its own fighting forces to defend Taiwan. That is all the more reason for Biden to state formally a US commitment to defend Taiwan while ensuring that Ukraine gets all it needs to defend itself.
December 20, 2022 17:11 UTC