Consumers

Huawei to offer budget smartphones in Japan

TOKYO -- China's Huawei Technologies plans to release inexpensive models priced at around 10,000 yen ($97.53) this year as part of an effort to grow its smartphone business in Japan.The company will expand its lineup of SIM-free versions that allow t...

  • Tokyo car-share club adds Mercedes to fleet

    TOKYO -- A local company will hire out Mercedes-Benz models for rates as low as pocket change in a partnership the German automaker hopes will give young people uninterested in car ownership a taste of luxury driving.Car Sharing Japan, part of the Mi...

  • Supermarkets widen discounts as purse strings tighten

    TOKYO -- Sugar, soy sauce, mayonnaise, beer. Average Japanese supermarket prices of more than 40% of 80 everyday products tracked by Nikkei Inc. fell in May, providing further evidence of rising budget consciousness among consumers.Using point-of-sal...

  • China's Bosideng shuts 1,300-plus clothing stores

    HONG KONG -- Bosideng International Holdings closed roughly 1,300 of its outlets selling down jackets last fiscal year amid the spread of online retailing.Down apparel stores numbered 5,271 as of March 31, according to the Chinese company. The group'...

  • Japan's live-entertainment market on growth spurt

    TOKYO -- Young people here are flocking to shows and concerts rather than purchasing music CDs.Japan's live-entertainment market grew 18% to 503 billion yen ($4.9 billion) in 2015, breaking records for a fourth straight year, according to preliminary...

  • Spirited debate on alcohol racks Indonesia

    JAKARTA -- When a commotion surrounding a ban on alcohol sales in Indonesian convenience stores began to cool last year, many thought it would spell the end of an exhaustive debate about easy access to alcoholic beverages. But it did not.A year after...

  • Mazda eyes chic face-lift for US dealerships

    TOKYO -- Mazda Motor will give a ritzy makeover to some 130 of its U.S. dealerships by 2018 as the company seeks to establish itself as an upscale auto brand.The modern look has benefited Mazda's Japanese dealerships. The automaker wants to replicate...

  • Tepco unit missing power usage data for thousands

    TOKYO -- New power companies are unable to bill some of their customers after a Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings group company lost track of electricity consumption data for thousands due to an apparent technical glitch.Tepco Power Grid, which handl...

  • Suntory set to uncork premium plum liqueur for export

    OSAKA -- Suntory Spirits will export high-end plum liqueur starting in July, initially for sale at global hub airports in Hong Kong and Singapore, the Japanese company said Wednesday.The Suntory Umeshu liqueur will be sold through U.S.-based Beam Sun...

  • Tokyo to get Fraser Suites hotel in time for Olympics

    OSAKA -- Sekisui House is looking to open an extended-stay hotel in Tokyo's upscale Akasaka area in the spring of 2020, targeting affluent foreigners visiting the city for the Olympic Games.Operated by Singapore-based partner Frasers group, this will...

  • Japan burger chain to recruit part-timers in 5 languages

    TOKYO -- Mos Food Services Inc., the operator of Mos Burger hamburger restaurants, in August will begin recruiting part-time workers in five languages via a special website.The move is part of the chain's efforts to cope with an anticipated increase ...

  • Club Med plans resorts near Beijing, Shanghai in Asian push

    TOKYO -- Club Med will launch resort villages near metropolitan cities in China as it seeks to tap growing vacation demand in Asia to compensate for a softening home market in Europe.CEO Henri Giscard d'Estaing said the company will team up with loca...

  • Ministop closing up shop in Indonesia for now

    TOKYO -- Japanese convenience store operator Ministop is pulling out of the Indonesian market, at least for the time being.The company announced Friday that it is terminating a franchise agreement with local retailer Bahagia Niaga Lestari, which want...

  • Interview

    Designers eye massive Muslim fashion market

    TOKYO -- The market for stylish clothing catering to Muslim women is huge, and it's only getting bigger. The mainstream fashion industry is starting to take notice, with such high-profile brands as Dolce & Gabbana and DKNY recently showcasing collect...

  • Thais to use national IDs for cheap fund transfers

    BANGKOK -- Leading Thai banks will in October introduce low- or no-cost money transfers using government ID numbers or registered phone numbers, boosting efforts to build up the digital economy.The transfer service, dubbed PromptPay, will initially i...

  • Shanghai resort tosses mouse ears into crowded Asian ring

    SHANGHAI -- Thursday's opening of the first-ever Disney resort in mainland China set off a race among theme parks in Asia to woo the region's rising middle class.The gates to Shanghai Disney Resort swung open past 11:30 a.m., about 30 minutes ahead o...

  • Bright with a few clouds at mainland China's Disney opening

    SHANGHAI -- The grand opening of mainland China's first Disney theme park turned out to be a remarkable day for visitors, as well as for U.S.-China relations, with the presidents of both countries marking the occasion. But among the thousands of fans...

  • Toyota appeals to commuters with longer-range plug-in Prius

    NAGOYA -- Toyota has unveiled its newest Prius plug-in hybrid, which features far greater EV range, hoping the total redesign will reignite sputtering sales.

  • Toshiba's 'last' microwave heralds end of an era

    TOKYO -- Toshiba said Tuesday it will release an upgraded version of its "Stone Kiln Dome" microwave oven in early August, the first update to the product in seven years.Undergoing management restructuring, Toshiba is selling its white goods business...

  • Sony brings big guns to virtual reality at game expo

    LOS ANGELES -- The world's largest annual video game conference and show kicked off here Tuesday, the day after a Sony unit made a flurry of announcements further cementing the idea of 2016 as the year of virtual reality.Sony Interactive Entertainmen...