Companies

Forget smartphones, SoftBank wants to sell you your next family member

TOKYO -- Japan's SoftBank has had many lives, from a peddler of packaged computer programs to selling broadband Internet service to, well, to a big, giant conglomerate that includes its namesake mobile service company. Now the behemoth wants to r...

  • Gap to open 40 shops in India in 2015

    NEW YORK -- U.S. casual clothing chain Gap plans to enter India in 2015, opening some 40 franchise stores in the country. It will team up with a major textile maker and set up shops in big cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. Gap expects the world's ...

  • Kuraray cuts deals to sharpen play in niche markets

    TOKYO -- With a stream of acquisitions like its recent purchase of DuPont's glass laminating and vinyls segment, Japan's Kuraray has honed its edge in specialty plastics. Eight of its products boast world-leading market shares, earning high profi...

  • Mandom's Indonesian unit seen generating record profit

    TOKYO -- The Indonesian subsidiary of men's toiletries producer Mandom is projected to log a 230 billion rupiah ($19.6 million) operating profit this year, up 2% from last year and highest ever in local-currency terms. Sales are projected to clim...

  • Japan data center operators to provide mutual emergency support

    TOKYO -- A number of midtier Japanese data center operators have agreed to support each other in the event of a disaster, aiming to add reliability to the appeal of their personal touch. The 38 companies involved are chiefly information-systems s...

  • Amazon to enter Shanghai free trade zone

    SHANGHAI -- Amazon.com will set up operations in the Shanghai free trade zone, in a move to carve out a separate niche from Chinese competitor Alibaba Group by selling U.S. products in the country. The U.S.-based online retailer will build a dist...

  • Transcosmos to start online sales proxy service in Thailand

    TOKYO -- Transcosmos is launching a business in Thailand that will help client companies start e-commerce services, handling everything from building websites to receiving product orders. The Saha Group, Thailand's largest consumer goods manufact...

  • Hitachi Zosen to turn trash into power in Indonesia, Vietnam

    OSAKA -- Hitachi Zosen will invest over 10 billion yen ($95.4 million) to build waste-to-energy power plants in Indonesia and Vietnam in a move to expand its environment-related business. The Japanese company started a feasibility study in Suraba...

  • Asahi Glass to reduce reliance on LCD TVs

    TOKYO -- Hard hit by ever-falling prices, Asahi Glass will rethink its dependence on glass used in LCD televisions. The Japanese company intends to "review the earnings structure anchored by glass substrates for LCD TVs," President Kazuhiko Ishim...

  • Nissan to build 3 small Infiniti models at new Mexican plant

    TOKYO -- Nissan Motor has decided to manufacture a trio of small Infiniti luxury vehicles at a factory it is building with Germany's Daimler in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Executive Vice President Andy Palmer revealed the decision, saying the vehicle...

  • Careful preparation helped Seven & i beat peers after tax hike

    TOKYO -- Seven & i Holdings is apparently so bullish about its earnings for the year through February that it is sharing more of its profit with shareholders this fiscal year. How can the retailer be so self-assured after April's sales tax hike put s...

  • Intel and Chunghwa Telecom collaborate on the 'Internet of Things'

    TAIPEI -- Nasdaq giant Intel is teaming up with Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's largest integrated telecommunications services company, to develop technologies that connect everyday devices to the Internet -- a concept that has been dubbed the "Internet o...

  • KidZania focuses on teaching, entertaining Asia's children

    TOKYO -- Mexico's KidZania is looking to Asia to expand its chain of entertainment and educational centers for children, and to make the business truly global. There are seven KidZanias in Asia, including in Tokyo, Bangkok, Jakarta and Mumbai. Is...

  • Honda aims to turn fuel-cell cars into household 'power plants'

    TOKYO -- Honda Motor is making progress toward its goal of turning fuel-cell vehicles into a source of household electricity, opening up the possibility of a hydrogen-powered society in the not-too-distant future. Fuel-cell vehicles are said to b...

  • Energized employees keep Google's startup spirit strong

    TOKYO -- Google, which started life as a search engine operator, has now grown into a technology behemoth employing roughly 50,000 workers around the world. Despite its size, however, the company is keen to retain the dynamism of a newly launched...

  • Dai-ichi Life looks to take Japan insurer top spot

    TOKYO -- Dai-ichi Life Insurance aims to become Japan's biggest life insurance company, taking over the position long held by Nippon Life Insurance. The current No. 2 insurer hopes its acquisition of U.S. insurer Protective Life will propel it to...

  • Toyoko Inn to open business hotels in Europe, US

    TOKYO -- As part of its Western expansion, business hotel operator Toyoko Inn plans to open hotels in Germany and France and possibly the U.S. In doing so, it is building on an overseas adventure that already includes six hotels in South Korea an...

  • Opt to participate in Chinese online ad promotion project

    TOKYO -- Online ad agency Opt will participate in a Chinese national project to promote the online advertising industry. The project is being led an advertising agency owned 51% by the Chinese government. The government is providing financial sup...

  • Nissin counting on R&D might to take bigger bite of global market

    TOKYO -- The WAVE, Nissin Foods Holdings' new R&D facility finished this spring, comes into view abruptly at the end of a mountain road in Hachioji, a city west of central Tokyo. The building looks like a human heart when viewed from above, but it is...

  • Japanese plastics maker primed for Asian packaging-materials market

    TOKYO -- Chemical producer Prime Polymer plans to begin selling a high-performance packaging plastic in Asia as early as 2016 to capitalize on growing demand there. The Japanese company has developed a material dubbed Evolue that is made with a p...