Featured Topic: Technology

EMC Corporation is a leading IT storage and hardware solutions company that deals with ‘Big Data’, or cloud computing and software services.

The Big Data market is growing rapidly, and is expanding especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Rico Hizon of Asia Business Reports recently discussed the industry with EMC’s Steven Leonard.

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Intel Capital recently announced its $40 million worth of investments in ten Asian companies. The investments include eight in companies from China, India, Japan and South Korea, as well as two planned in Taiwan.

“Technology adoption and innovation is an accelerating global phenomenon, and Asian entrepreneurs from both mature and emerging markets are on the cutting edge of this trend,” said Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani. “These ten companies offer unique technology- from remote security solutions to interactive cloud-based services- that enhances productivity, security and the online experience for consumers and businesses around the world.”

The investments were announced at the 12th annual Intel Capital Global Summit in Huntington Beach, California. The summit, formerly known as the CEO Summit, hosts more than 900 portfolio company CEOs each year, as well as corporate technology decision makers and industry leaders from across the globe.

 

 

 

Japan’s crisis has led to a downturn in Toshiba investment.  According to one of the corporation’s American partners (NRG Energy), there will be no additional investment in a Texas nuclear power project, due to the “Japanese nuclear plant” crisis.  There was the intention of developing a further two reactors near Houston but now David Crane, the company’s president has said that the recent crisis created “multiple uncertainties around new nuclear development in the United States which have had the effect of dramatically reducing the probability [of constructing reactors in the South Texas Project] in a timely fashion.”

US Impacted by Japan’s Crisis

This announcement came in reaction to the Japanese crisis.  NRG – as a result of what happened in the Asian region – “will not [be] invest[ing] additional capital in the STP development effort.”  It has been said that this indicates that the Japanese crisis “has directly affected the US nuclear power industry.”  It remains unclear as to whether Toshiba will move forward with its project with other partners.

New Toshiba Projects

But despite its reservations vis-à-vis the Japanese crisis, Toshiba is still forging ahead with other new and exciting projects.  It is due to “launch its first tablet computer” in a couple of months and, according to company’s digital products and services unit president Masaaki Oosumi, “attempt to gain a 10 percent share of the global tablet market by 2013.”  It is an impressive PC tablet, based on Android’s 3.0 operating system, priced at approximately ¥60,000 (US$730) in Japan.

 

The mobile online and mobile app industry is one of the fastest growing markets in the world today. With Apple’s App Store, Google’s Android Market, and RIM’s Blackberry App World, the industry is in constant competition, making it difficult for other parties to make a name for themselves.

One company that has managed to do so is Conduit. This web and mobile app publisher currently has more than 230 million users, 200 employees and 260,000 web publishers. The original Conduit Network enables global and independent app publishers to develop, distribute and exchange apps across the globe. The network also makes it easy to create business partnerships.

Conduit provides an easy, effortless method of distributing apps anywhere in the world, from toolbars to mobile devices to web browsers. Apps can be deployed directly, or through the Conduit App Marketplace.

Founder and CEO of Conduit Ronen Shilo said: “We know how competitive it is these days to market products, services and content online, which is why we provide an open solution that levels the playing field and creates new business opportunities. With our vast network and App Marketplace, we are enabling Web and mobile publishers of all sizes to freely and easily create and share content with one another, as well as acquire and engage users more effectively. We believe that it’s this same open spirit which attracted people to the internet 15 years ago, that continues to draw publishers to Conduit over and over again.”

Some of the better known Conduit users include MLB (Major League Baseball), Time Warner Cable, Univision, Chelsea Football Club, Fox News, iVillage, Groupon, Travelocity and TechCrunch.

 

 

Not surprisingly following Japan’s crazy earthquake and tsunami, the financial markets are in a sate of panic.  Finance leaders in the country are trying to calm the situation as the nuclear power crisis continued to worsen matters.  With an estimation according to Bank Credit Suisse of a loss of $171 billion, it’s no great shock that there is this panic. But the question being asked is how much do economists really need to panic?  According to Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said that it’s just too soon to make this kind of assessment vis-à-vis the economy.

Major Japanese Companies Close

When a country’s primary companies start to close down, there’s not likely to be a surge of confidence in the markets. Unfortunately since Friday’s travesties, Panasonic, Sony and Toyota Motor Co. have closed their production facilities.  As well, nuclear power plants have shut temporarily due to the possibility of reactors overheating.

Japan’s Biggest Crisis Since WWII

The earthquake and tsunami are being hailed as the country’s largest crisis since World War II.  Stock markets plummeted over 14 percent as the Fukushima nuclear power plant encountered two explosions. PM Naoto Kan didn’t have much to add, other than give out a warning that radioactivity levels had become ‘significantly’ higher.  This could lead to a cost of anywhere between 3 and 5 percent of output, which is extremely significant for a country that rates as the world’s third biggest economy.

Clearly Japan is going to take a long time to recover from last week’s events.  The question just remains, how much this will cost and what it will mean for the future of the country’s markets?  Only time will tell.

 

 A Japanese airline (a conglomeration of All Nippon Airways and ANA) will begin low cost domestic flights in November and services to China next year.  According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) over 5 million passengers were transported during the Spring Festival through domestic carriers, organizing close to 40,000 flights to meet increased holiday travel demand.  Services will be expanded between Dalian in China’s Liaoning Province and Toyama, Japan to Beijing.  Turkish airlines has grown, as well as Air China, the latter which transported 102,500 tons of mail and cargo.  Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways – with its subsidiary Dragonair – last month transported 2.24 million passengers, 6.8 percent higher than last year.  China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines likewise reported a significant increase in passenger transportation over the last year.  Spring Airlines will be using AsiaPay’s payment processing solution for its online flight booking, enabling clients to pay for tickets in local currencies.


In terms of airline partnerships, news is that first, China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd.) just clinched a US$1.22 billion deal for the construction of a new international airport in Khartoum, Sudan.  Second, China Telecom Corporation Limited has entered into a strategic partnership with Hainan Airlines potentially enabling the latter to be “China’s first air carrier to provide in-flight phone calls and Internet.” New services will be added to Italian airlines too and a Tibet-based air carrier (Tibet Airlines) will be the first air-carrier in the region and will start its operation launching a Lhasa-Beijing service.
 

News from solar power is that China Solar Energy Holdings Ltd. will be acquiring domestic thin-film solar photovoltaic module maker Target Samoa for US$45 million in stock and convertible notes enabling the addition of amorphous silicon thin-film module production.  Taiwanese Neo Solar Power Corp (NSP) said its revenues last month escalated over 150 percent and this trend looks set to improve.  Volthaus GmbH (German solar power developer) is due to receive 20 MWp of solar modules in an agreement with EGing Photovoltaic Technology (Chinese module maker).  There is good news in the solar cell market too in the country, with the use of Maple solar cell technology (broader and flatter silicon cells with fewer grain boundaries).


There is work on potential wind power projects via China Resource New Energy which recently stated it would put US$728 million to US$984 million in wind power developments in pursuit of 150 gigawatts of overall installed capacity by 2020.  A US company CleanTech Innovations informed of its striking a wind tower supply deal from power producer China Guodian.

The upcoming 2011 Renewable Energy Exhibition (Lyon, France), will be privy to the latest green products’ catalogs from Taiwan as well as a demonstration of Taiwantrade.  Taiwantrade is a powerful B2B website, developed by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and e-sourcing platform providing clients with tons of information on current trade events, industries news and more. It assists Taiwanese companies with all sorts of developments and is a quality product at a reasonable price.  In terms of its green products, this is not new to a country rated number four in the world of solar modules manufacturing and solar cells.  As well it was rated number 6 in the world for green-energy technology and number two in Asia as an eco-solutions developer.
Also at the exhibition, there will be an attempt to develop cohesion in business with French and European companies while educating on the 50 Taiwanese green suppliers.  TAITRA “will be providing the most comprehensive sourcing services.”
 

Smith Electric Vehicles owned by Tanfield Group is believed to be in advanced discussions with the Hong Kong government to provide the municipality with electric minibuses. It is known that Hong Kong has been actively pursuing electric vehicles for the city’s fleet.

Hong Kong suffers from intense air quality issues, so it is hoped that the mini-buses from Smith Electric Vehicles (if the deal goes through), will help to increase the air quality in the city. This latest deal comes after a series of previous deals between Smith Electric Vehicles and the Hong Kong Government, where the city bought 15 Smith all-electric vehicles in the past 18 months.

Smith Electric Vehicles has recently merged with its US partner on January 1 in a £9.74m deal.

The Smith Electric Vehicles division was bought by its US partner Smith Electric Vehicles US, which is represented by the investment bank in which the North-East firm held a 49 per cent stake. The Smith Electric Vehicles US named Wynston Hill Captial as its lead investment banker last year.  Corey Singman and Bruce Shalett are the Investment Bankers for Wynston Hill Capital in connection to Smith Electric Vehicles US.  The deal has still allowed Tanfield to hold the same percentage within the new, enlarged company.

HyundaiHyundai Motors has operated successfully in India and has solidified its operating procedures there over the past several years. During the next three years Hyundai will build a new diesel engine factory costing Rs400 crore. Recent feasibility research showed this to be an appropriate investment according to the CEO. Three different sized engines will be produced.

The new factory should be opened in 2013 or 2014. It will produce diesel engines for the Indian market. These engines will be in three sizes: 1.1 liters, 1.4 lit, and 1.6 lit. Hyundai’s Sales and Marketing Director said that this year Hyundai had to use all of its production to satisfy growing local demand. In previous years, Hyundai’s Indian division was able to produce enough cars for both the Indian and foreign markets.

Japanese Government Council for Science and Technology (and former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, president ) on Wednesday selected 8 key strategy areas of science and technology in particular to focus on as part of a budget allocation request “action plan.”  One of them is the 100,000 genome ( genome ) to help decode the prevention of disease “research Genomukohoto “ with the current emphasis on life and health. Another area of focus is the environmental field of long lasting fuel cell development.

This development plan adopted by the cabinet in June is the first attempt to realize a new growth strategy A decision will be made soon at the plenary session in order promote concrete policies and budget requests to the ministry efficiently .

The Genomukohoto study takes about 20 years to register 100,000 people who wish to track the health status and to develop prevention methods against diseases such as dementia and strokes while using genetic information to decipher preventative methods.