KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) -- Prices of popular gadgets such as PlayStations and iPhones could rise because of microchip shortages caused by a "perfect storm" of coronavirus-driven demand, supply chain disruptions and trade war stockpiling, experts warn. In the months after the pandemic hit, people stuck at home went on a spending spree to buy items including extra monitors, new computers and tablets -- each of which runs on all-important chips. Compounding the crisis are US-China tensi
For Masayoshi Son, these days are even better than the dot-com bubble. Shares in the Japanese billionaire’s SoftBank Group surged in Tokyo on Tuesday to the highest close since the company went public in 1994, rising past a long-standing record two decades ago. The shares rose 4.2 percent to finish at 10,420 yen, surpassing its previous record of 10,111.09 yen marked on Feb. 18, 2000. SoftBank’s share price increases have been backed by a surging stock market which lifted
Uber on Wednesday reported another hefty loss in the final three months of 2020, though the company's food delivery operations partly offset the hit taken from the decline in ridesharing during the pandemic. Thanks to that offset, the loss of $968 million was narrowed slightly from $1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to Uber. Revenue in the quarter was $3.2 billion, a 16-percent decrease from the same period a year earlier. "While 2020 certainly tested our resili
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online bookstore and built it into a shopping and entertainment behemoth, will step down later this year as CEO, a role he's had for nearly 30 years, to become executive chairman, the company announced Tuesday. Bezos, 57, will be replaced in the summer by Andy Jassy, who runs Amazon's cloud-computing business. In a blog post to employees, Bezos said he planned to focus on new products and early initiatives being developed at Amazon. He
South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution was the second-biggest supplier of electric vehicle batteries in the first 11 months of 2020 following China’s CATL, according to a market research firm. LG Energy Solution, which spun off from LG Chem earlier this month, shipped 26.4 gigawatt-hour equivalents of EV batteries in the January-November period, accounting for 22.6 percent of the global market, according to the data by SNE Research. China’s CATL supplied 24.4 GWh eq
Automaker Volkswagen tripled sales of battery-only cars in 2020 despite the pandemic as its new electric compact ID.3 came on the market ahead of tough new European Union limits on auto emissions. It's an early sign of what will likely be an upcoming year of increasing market share for electric cars as EU regulations drive their adoption despite the economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and as the EU's largest economy, Germany, sees more demand. Volkswagen said Tuesday its name
The marriage of carmakers PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is built on the promise of cost-savings in the capital-hungry industry, but what remains to be seen is if it will be able to preserve jobs and heritage brands in a global market still suffering from the pandemic. PSA Peugeot shareholders on Monday overwhelmingly approved the deal to create the world's fourth-largest carmaker, to be called Stellantis, with the capacity to produce 8.7 million cars a year, behind Volkswagen, Toyot
The Covid-19 vaccine developed by the British drugs group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has achieved a "winning formula" for efficacy, the company's chief executive said on Sunday. The vaccine, currently being evaluated by Britain's independent medicines regulator, provides "100 percent protection" against severe Covid disease requiring hospitalisation, Pascal Soriot said in an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper. He added he believes tri
South Korea’s video game market was the fifth largest in the world in 2019, falling one position from the previous year, a report showed. The country's video game market reached sales of 15.6 trillion won ($14.2 billion) last year, up 9 percent from the previous year, according to an annual report by the Korea Creative Content Agency. The country ranked behind the United States, China, Japan and the United Kingdom in the global video market worth a total $186.5 billion last year.
Paris and Switzerland’s Zurich tied Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive cities this year as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the prices of everyday items, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Singapore fell to fourth place as foreign workers left the country after losing their jobs. The research was based on the prices of 138 everyday goods and services in around 130 cities worldwide.
SHANGHAI (AFP) -- Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba on Thursday reported solid 30 percent year-on-year revenue growth for the July-September quarter, providing some much-needed good news amid turmoil over its Ant Group affiliate's abandoned IPO. Hangzhou-based Alibaba said revenue -- a key measure of the internet giant's business health as well as overall Chinese consumer spending -- rose to 155 billion yuan ($23 billion).The announcement comes ahead of China's November 11 "Single's Day&qu
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union's executive commission on Thursday lowered its growth forecast for the economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic next year and said the economy wouldn't reach pre-virus levels until 2023. The regular autumn forecast foresees the economy of the 19 countries that use the euro growing only 4.2 percent in 2021 instead of the previous estimate of 6.1 percent. The downgrade comes as governments record increasing numbers of infections, sick people in hos
BEIJING (AP) -- Global stock markets and US futures rose Tuesday on investor hopes that a possible victory by challenger Joe Biden in the American presidential election might lead to more economic stimulus. Dow futures were up 1.6% while those for the S&P 500 were 1.3 percent higher ahead of the start of trading on Wall Street. European indexes were up firmly in midday trading, while Asian markets closed higher. Traders are betting Biden might push for a bigger US stimulus package if