Consumers

A store belonging to CucRe.vn, a subsidiary of online retailer Vatgia, in Hanoi. (Photo by Elisabeth Rosen)

E-commerce ready to take off in Vietnam

HANOI -- Young entrepreneurs and seasoned executives alike are setting up e-commerce businesses in Vietnam. But before the anticipated explosion in the market can happen, these pioneers need to overcome several obstacles. When Thanh Tam's local b...

  • Lawson to open 180 convenience stores in China

    SHANGHAI -- Having focused its Chinese business on closing money-losing locations, Japanese convenience store chain Lawson plans a renewed push in the country this year, aiming to open 180 sites, five times the 2013 level. The plan calls for open...

  • China's gadget makers turn to services for growth

    GUANGZHOU -- Major Chinese electronics hardware manufacturers are moving into new lines of business to broaden their sources of revenue. Slowing market growth and higher costs have led to increasing pressure for companies to restructure and maint...

  • Japan department stores head into new territory as sales tax bites

    TOKYO -- Department stores are on the ropes in Japan. The April 1 sales tax hike is to blame. Big-ticket items have in the last year sold well as economic circumstances improved for many consumers in Japan. The tax hike has put a stop to tha...

  • Japan's Bic Camera to offer more affordable smartphones

    TOKYO -- Bic Camera, a leading Japanese electronics retailer, will on Friday begin selling relatively inexpensive smartphones, amid similar moves by competitors. A monthly plan inclusive of the handset price will cost customers just 2,830 yen ($2...

  • Japan's Fujio Food to open restaurants in Indonesia

    OSAKA -- Restaurant chain operator Fujio Food System is taking its Japanese fare to Indonesia as soon as this fall and hopes to whet the appetites of other Asian markets. Fujio Food and the Indonesia restaurant chain operator Prima will form a jo...

  • Rakuten Edy service turns smartphones into card readers

    TOKYO -- A subsidiary of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten will soon launch a service allowing retailers to process electronic payments using smartphones without the need for a separate card-reading device. Rakuten Edy will initially deploy the s...

  • Sukiya eateries to decentralize management with 7-way spinoff

    TOKYO -- Zensho Holdings will spin off its Sukiya beef bowl operations into seven regional companies, aiming for more flexible management of human resources. The Sukiya chain spans some 2,000 restaurants nationwide. But with labor shortages forci...

  • Chinese electronics makers take aim at video game market

    GUANGZHOU, China -- After China's decision to lift a 14-year ban on the production and sale of video game consoles, local electronics companies such as TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings and ZTE are entering the fray. On Wednesday, TCL debuted th...

  • 'Tonkotsu' ramen bowling over Asia

    TOKYO -- Japanese ramen has a lot of fans throughout Asia, but one variety of this noodle dish -- tonkotsu style -- is proving especially popular, especially among the region's Chinese populace. Tonkotsu, which literally means "pork bones," refe...

  • Japan's Kirin to tap Chinese thirst for milk

    TOKYO -- Kirin Holdings will start offering milk in China as early as June to capitalize on the country's growing demand for high-quality dairy beverages. The Japanese company will sell ultra-high-temperature processed milk, or long-life milk, wh...

  • Takashimaya plans 2 more department stores for Southeast Asia

    TOKYO -- Takashimaya, which operates a chain of department stores, is considering opening two more in Southeast Asia as early as 2017, President Shigeru Kimoto said in an interview with The Nikkei on Friday. The Japanese company already runs a st...

  • Brokers see gold mine in stalled solar power projects

    TOKYO -- As solar power projects hit snags across Japan, brokers have stepped in to scoop up preferred rights to sell electricity and hawk them at exorbitant prices. According to an official at a construction company, a broker sought 500 million ...

  • Ajinomoto to pepper Pakistan with namesake MSG, other seasonings

    TOKYO/MUMBAI -- Ajinomoto will establish a subsidiary in Pakistan as early as next year to tempt the taste buds of the nation's nearly 200 million citizens with its namesake brand of monosodium glutamate flavoring and other seasonings. This repre...

  • Docomo to offer Japan's first family data plans

    TOKYO -- NTT Docomo announced Thursday that it will introduce Japan's first shared data plans for families in June, marking a pivot away from voice services as data usage skyrockets. Data accounts for more than 60% of Docomo's revenue from commun...

  • Japan's first halal fund to aid food exports to Muslim nations

    TOKYO -- A first-of-its-kind investment fund in Japan will provide money to local companies offering products and services that conform to Islamic law, with a focus on helping food producers export to markets with large Muslim populations. The fu...

  • With food court, Narita says 'sayonara' to pricey airport dining

    CHIBA, Japan -- The operator of Japan's Narita Airport will set up a large self-service food court inside a new terminal for low-cost carriers. The move is part of Narita International Airport Corp.'s fight to lure travelers back from Haneda Airp...

  • China's UnionPay partnering with Japan megabanks on card services

    SHANGHAI -- UnionPay, China's leading bank-card company, has been pairing up with the Chinese units of Japanese megabanks to tap business among the growing number of Japanese retailers and restaurant operators coming to the country. The Shanghai-...

  • Jollibee shows Philippines' hunger for global growth

    TOKYO -- Many Filipino children no doubt dream of having their next birthday at a Jollibee. The fast-food chain itself is pursuing bigger, international aspirations. With around 800 stores in the Philippines, Jollibee Foods has branched out into ...

  • Air China adds direct service to Yangon

    BEIJING -- Air China has started direct flights to Yangon, Myanmar's largest city. Four flights per week have been added between Beijing and Yangon, while a route between Chengdu and Yangon with a stop in Kunming will be serviced daily. Many ...