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Last week, the new owner of Britain’s biggest chipmaker was ordered to unwind its takeover, just days after another chip factory sale was blocked in Germany. “These decisions mark a shift towards tougher stances regarding Chinese investment in critical industries in Europe,” said Xiaomeng Lu, director of geo‑technology at Eurasia Group. A worker in a clean room for silicon semiconductor wafer manufacturing at the Newport Wafer Fab, owned by Nexperia, in Newport, Wales on Aug. 18. A company sign of Elmos Semiconductor, seen on Nov. 9 in the German city of Dortmund. Both Britain and Germany have recently added rules that expand government oversight over such decisions, making outcomes harder to predict.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Hikvision, a leading Chinese surveillance company, has denied suggestions that it poses a threat to Britain’s national security after the UK government banned the use of its camera systems at “sensitive” sites. Dowden cited “the threat to the UK and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems,” without specifying further. The minister added that departments could review whether sites not deemed sensitive should also be taking similar measures. The United States in 2019 placed Hikvision and other Chinese companies on a trade blacklist, prohibiting them from importing US technology over similar allegations. Hikvision, in its statement, said its cameras were compliant with UK laws and “subject to strict security requirements.”Dahua did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Australia will continue to see a spike in extreme rainfall and heat, as well as more dangerous fire events, its government agencies warned Wednesday. In a biennial climate report, Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Bureau of Meteorology said it had already found “an increase in extreme heat events, intense heavy rainfall, longer fire seasons and sea level rise” recently. The changes are happening more rapidly and will put further pressure on Australia to transition its economy away from fossil fuels, the agencies warned. Australia has seen the devastating effects of the climate crisis up close recently, from marine heat waves that have caused mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef to extreme weather events including flooding. Over the past 50 years, “climate-induced extreme weather events including drought, fires, and floods have cost Australian communities an estimated 120 billion [Australian dollars] ($79.8 billion),” according to the Minderoo Foundation.
Beijing/Hong Kong CNN Business —Workers at China’s largest iPhone assembly factory were seen confronting police, some in riot gear, on Wednesday, according to videos shared over social media. Videos of many people leaving Zhengzhou on foot had gone viral on Chinese social media earlier in November, forcing Foxconn to step up measures to get its staff back. Numerous complaints have also been posted anonymously on social media platforms — accusing Foxconn of having changed the salary packages previously advertised. Searches for the term “Foxconn” on Chinese social media now yield few results, an indication of heavy censorship. A vital hubThe Zhengzhou facility is the world’s largest iPhone assembly site.
“While both Binance and FTX are not licensed here, there is a clear difference between the two: Binance was actively soliciting users in Singapore while FTX was not,” the MAS said. “With regard to FTX, there was no evidence that it was soliciting Singapore users specifically.”Regulators are expected to step up their oversight of the industry as a result of its worst-ever turmoil. Unlike other industry players, Binance has emerged relatively unscathed during what some are calling a “crypto winter,” which refers to the sector’s ongoing global liquidity crisis. FTX, by comparison, recently filed for bankruptcy after failing to secure a lifeline from Binance over its own money troubles. In recent weeks, investor Sequoia Capital and Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, Temasek, have each written down the value of their respective FTX stakes down to $0.
Hong Kong/Beijing CNN Business —More than 100,000 people have signed up for a massive recruitment drive by Apple’s supplier Foxconn for the largest iPhone factory in China, according to Chinese state media. And our hiring process is now closed temporarily,” a Foxconn executive, Yang Han, in Zhengzhou told state news outlet Yicai on Thursday. Some local governments in Henan have recently also asked community officials to join the production line themselves, according to multiple Chinese state media reports. Several unidentified such officials, also known colloquially as local “grassroots officials,” or “cadres,” told state media publication Cailian Press Tuesday that they were told to work at the Zhengzhou campus from one to six months. “We now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated,” the tech giant said in a statement earlier this month.
Hong Kong CNN Business —The UK government has ordered a Chinese-owned company to unwind its takeover of Britain’s biggest chipmaker, citing national security concerns. Last week, the German government blocked the sale of a semiconductor factory to a Chinese-owned tech firm, citing national security concerns. “Nexperia does not accept the potential national security concerns raised,” it said. Newport Wafer bills itself as the UK’s largest semiconductor facility, making more than 35,000 wafer starts a month. It obtained full ownership of the Newport site in July 2021, after previously working with its former owners as a customer and as its second largest shareholder.
In a landmark deal announced Tuesday, Estée Lauder Companies (EL) said it was acquiring its longtime partner Tom Ford. The deal will allow two of Tom Ford’s current partners, Ermenegildo Zegna and Marcolin, to extend their existing licensing agreements, the companies said. Marcolin will continue making sunglasses and optical frames with the Tom Ford brand. Tom Ford and Estée Lauder have been partners for more than 15 years, launching the Tom Ford Beauty brand together in 2006. Estée Lauder Companies, which is home to other global beauty brands such as Clinique and Bobbi Brown, said Tuesday that it expected annual sales of Tom Ford’s cosmetics line to reach $1 billion “over the next couple of years.”“As an owned brand, this strategic acquisition will unlock new opportunities and fortify our growth plans for Tom Ford Beauty,” Estée Lauder Companies President and CEO Fabrizio Freda said in a statement.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao is once again in the global spotlight, this time as the self-appointed white knight of crypto as the industry is embroiled in crisis. “Let’s rebuild.”Humble beginningsZhao launched Binance in July 2017 in China, gradually building it into the world’s largest crypto exchange. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao attending the Viva Technology conference in Paris on June 16, 2022. In May, TerraUSD lost its dollar peg, which led to the collapse of its sister token and eventually created a huge global liquidity crisis in the crypto industry. The Binance chief said his firm had been asked to help as FTX grappled with liquidity issues.
Hong Kong CNN Business —China’s Singles Day, the world’s biggest annual shopping event, is known for regularly smashing sales records. Singles Day usually eclipses two of the world’s most popular sales events — Black Friday and Cyber Monday — combined. Xiaofeng Wang, a principal analyst at research firm Forrester, told CNN Business that she believed Singles Day sales would cross the trillion-yuan mark this week. In 2021, the tally for Singles Day rose 13%, “the smallest advance ever,” according to an analysis by Bain & Company. Singles Day “isn’t going anywhere,” concluded James Yang, a Hong Kong-based partner at Bain.
“All of the members are committed to net zero, particularly many developing countries who certainly have a lot of issues to deal with. But all of them are committed,” Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun told CNN’s Becky Anderson in an interview Tuesday at UN climate summit COP27. China is the world’s largest carbon emitter of fossil fuels, but has committed to net zero goals by 2060. He did not mention China’s coal sector, which produces much of the country’s methane emissions, in addition to carbon dioxide emissions. China produces the most methane emissions from coal mines in the world, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Taiwan’s latest entrant to Wall Street has had a rough ride since it went public a week ago. Perfect Corp. lends its technology to beauty and fashion brands. Perfect Corp. founder and CEO Alice Chang said she spoke to CNN Business while wearing the company's "digital makeup" on a conference call. The question was: “How can I link the virtual beauty with the real world beauty?” Chang recalled. Perfect Corp. is one of a handful of Taiwanese companies to list in the United States in recent years, according to Dealogic data.
Hong Kong CNN Business —The founder of Mamee Monster, the iconic Southeast Asian noodle snack brand, has died, the company confirmed Tuesday. Mamee-Double Decker Group, a Malaysian food manufacturer, told CNN Business that Pang Chin Hin died on Saturday at the age of 92. “Without [him] many of our childhoods would be very different,” CEO Pierre Pang Hee Ta, Pang’s grandson, told CNN Business in a statement. Mamee is best known for its colorful packets of crunchy, dry instant noodles, which are typically sold with savory powdered flavoring. The company started off making traditional instant noodles, with packs of vermicelli sold under a brand called Lucky.
The visit — the first by a G7 leader to China in roughly three years — comes as Germany slides towards recession. A spokesperson for Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA), the company operating the port terminal, told CNN Business on Thursday that it was still negotiating the deal with Cosco. “The restrictions are suffocating economic growth and heavily impact China’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment,” he told CNN Business. The ministry did not respond to a request for comment from CNN Business. He predicted that “the large majority will stay committed to the Chinese market and is expecting to expand their business.”Companies appear to be toeing that line.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Hong Kong leader John Lee sought to drum up confidence in the city’s future as a global financial hub on Wednesday, as he welcomed some of Wall Street’s top executives to its biggest international event in years. “We were, we are and we will remain one of the world’s leading financial centers,” Lee vowed. China’s latest five-year plan includes goals to reinforce the city’s role as an international trade, financial, shipping and aviation center, Lee said. “The worst is behind us.”Solomon, Gorman and Kelleher, who took to the stage for a panel shortly after Lee’s remarks, did not comment directly on the city’s reopening. Mainland China, however, still has a mandate in place for most inbound travelers to self-isolate for at least seven days, under its stringent “zero-Covid policy.”
New Delhi CNN Business —Foxconn, one of Apple’s largest suppliers, is wrestling with major disruption at its biggest iPhone assembly factory in China, as anxious workers reportedly flee the facility, according to social media videos. “[We] fully understand your eagerness to go back home,” Foxconn told its employees over the weekend, according to a post on Zhengzhou government’s official WeChat account. The Zhengzhou campus is the world’s biggest iPhone factory and typically accounts for as much as 85% of iPhone assembly capacity, according to Lam’s estimates. State media has said that many Foxconn workers are among those walking miles to escape the city. While these disruptions will impact iPhone production in the near term, analysts say it may not dent Apple’s iPhone shipments in the key holiday season.
Hong Kong/Seoul CNN Business —Samsung has appointed Jay Y. Lee, its longtime de facto leader, as executive chairman. It comes just months after Lee, the scion of one of South Korea’s most powerful families, was pardoned for crimes including embezzlement and bribery. The pardon ended a five-year ban on Lee holding a formal position at Samsung. It said revenue had reached 76.8 trillion won (nearly $54 billion) in the third quarter, despite “a challenging business environment,” and still forecast its full-year revenue to surpass that of 2021. Samsung shares ticked up nearly 1% in Seoul on Thursday following the announcements.
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Hong Kong CNN Business —Hong Kong wants international firms to know it means business. In August, Hong Kong logged its biggest population drop since officials began keeping track of such figures in 1961. Eligible candidates “will be issued a two-year pass for exploring opportunities in Hong Kong,” he said. That should come as welcome relief for businesses in Hong Kong, which had long warned of a brain drain. Hong Kong is working to change that perception, by stepping up efforts to rebuild its status as a global business and financial hub.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Europe’s gas crisis will be “a catalyst” for Mercedes-Benz to push deeper into clean energy, says its CEO. The German government had already set in motion a crisis management plan that could see rationing gas to businesses if that happened. The group has also signed on to use a wind energy facility in the Baltic Sea that will “add another 25%” of capacity, said Källenius. “We’re going to diversify, we’re going to make ourselves more resilient, and of course we’re going to go carbon-free,” he added. The company unveiled the electric vehicle Sunday at the Paris Motor Show, as part of efforts to further diversify its lineup.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Hong Kong’s flagship airline Cathay Pacific is facing “unprecedented” staff shortages and may not be ready to handle a surge in demand, as the city winds up its strict Covid policy and reopens for international travel. Hong Kong’s flagship airline is “facing unprecedented staffing and training shortages,” and “stands unprepared to fully resume its operations, failing to meet demand in a resurgent travel market,” the HKAOA said. But, this month Hong Kong ended its two and a half years of quarantine measures, leading to a surge in demand for outbound travel. On Wednesday, Virgin Atlantic announced it is closing its Hong Kong office and not resuming services between the Asian hub and London’s Heathrow Airport. Wayne Chang in Hong Kong contributed to this report.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Hong Kong has finally secured commitments from some of the world’s biggest banks to participate in a long-awaited summit, as it seeks to reaffirm its status as a global financial hub. Under the current rules, travelers are free to move around, although they may not be allowed into restaurants or bars during the first three days of their stay. The summit was announced by Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan in February. Hong Kong is the base for JPMorgan’s Asia Pacific headquarters, as well as those of many other financial firms. Now, the conference will be an important part of the city’s efforts to show that it’s truly reopened for global business.
Hong Kong CNN Business —Asian stocks fell Wednesday after another turbulent day for US markets, as investors continue to sell off amid fears of global inflation, further interest rate hikes and broader economic turmoil. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei (N225) index slid 2.2% as of lunchtime local time Wednesday, while South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI) dropped 2.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) shed 2.2%, as China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) index slipped 0.9%. The dips come after another volatile day on Wall Street, with the Dow (INDU) and S&P 500 (INX) reaching their lowest levels since November 2020. That put the Dow (INDU) deeper into a bear market, as it fell more than 125 points, or 0.4%.
Hong Kong CNN Business —International airlines are scrambling to add more flights to Hong Kong as the city ends two and a half years of quarantine measures, leading to a surge in demand for travel. “As Hong Kong’s home airline, we are fully committed to rebuilding the connectivity of the Hong Kong aviation hub,” it said in a statement. This will absolutely increase the demand for travel to and from Hong Kong,” Christoph Meyer, Lufthansa’s general manager of sales for Hong Kong, Macao and South China, said in a statement. International Air Transport Association Director General Willie Walsh said last week that China’s zero-Covid policy had “devastated” Hong Kong. Friday’s news puts Hong Kong back on “the right track,” said Dr. Kam Hung Ng, assistant professor of aviation engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Hong Kong (CNN Business) International airlines are scrambling to add more flights to Hong Kong as the city ends two and a half years of quarantine measures , leading to a surge in demand for travel. This will absolutely increase the demand for travel to and from Hong Kong," Christoph Meyer, Lufthansa's general manager of sales for Hong Kong, Macao and South China, said in a statement. International Air Transport Association Director General Willie Walsh said last week that China's zero-Covid policy had "devastated" Hong Kong. Friday's news puts Hong Kong back on "the right track," said Dr. Kam Hung Ng, assistant professor of aviation engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He told CNN Business that Hong Kong still had advantages that could allow its aviation industry to recover to pre-pandemic levels, "or even more."
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