Trends

Bangkok's new Purple Line is to open in August.

Infrastructure development

Urban rail contracts up for grabs in emerging Asia

BANGKOK -- Emerging Asian countries are launching a slew of urban rail projects, creating business opportunities for companies with advanced expertise and a willingness to shoulder some risk. Thailand plans to solicit bids for four new lines in 2...

  • Japan's food scene

    'Beef mileage' feeds steak aficionados' competitive streaks

    TOKYO -- A Japanese chain of steak restaurants has found a fresh way to keep customers coming back for more: tracking their "beef mileage." Ikinari Steak, run by Pepper Food Service, sells steak by weight -- say, 7 yen (6 cents) per gram. The fir...

  • Japan gaming industry

    PlayStation relocation signals the end of an era

    TOKYO -- Japanese computer games giant Sony announced in late January that it plans to consolidate its gaming business units, Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International, to form Sony Interactive Entertainment as of April...

  • Japanese retailing

    Stores lay out welcome mat for Chinese New Year

    TOKYO -- As if accommodating Chinese visitors on their usual shopping sprees weren't enough, major Japanese retailers are now actively working to lure this demographic to their storefronts for the Lunar New Year. One of China's biggest holiday pe...

  • Indonesia's food industry

    Japanese companies cater to beef-hungry consumers

    TOKYO/SYDNEY/JAKARTA -- As incomes rise in Indonesia, the heavily Muslim population's growing taste for beef has gotten Japanese businesses like restaurant operators and meat processors salivating.

  • Japanese earnings

    Profits to grow in fiscal 2015 despite global turmoil

    TOKYO -- Japan's publicly traded corporations are on track to see a small increase in profits for fiscal 2015, even as U.S. and German companies suffer a drop amid the slowdown in emerging markets and cheap crude oil prices. As of Friday, Japanes...

  • 'Edutainment' in Singapore

    Digital amusement park combines playtime and learning

    SINGAPORE -- Imagine drawing your own cartoons on paper and seeing them come alive on a digital screen. Impossible? A new attraction in Singapore promises to do just that. Singapore-based Creative Future Park will open Mosh! on Feb 6th in Singapo...

  • Japan's electricity deregulation

    54,000 clients jump to other power companies

    TOKYO -- About 54,000 subscribers in the regions around Tokyo and Osaka have decided to switch power providers ahead of Japan's liberalization of the retail electricity market in April, newly compiled findings show. The data is based on the numbe...

  • China/Hong Kong properties

    Chinese developers dominate territory's land sales

    HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's growing dependence on China is well-documented -- be it in food, tourism or trade. Recently, that has extended into property. State-backed Chinese developers have been splashing out on land sales to build homes in the former ...

  • Auto industry

    Carmakers jazz up their compacts in India

    NEW DELHI -- Automakers are aiming to win over India's growing middle class with snazzier, and pricier, compact cars. Traditionally, the Indian auto market has been dominated by small, entry-level models priced between 300,000 and 400,000 rupees ...

  • Japan tourism

    Local shops banding together to open one-stop tax-free counters

    TOKYO -- With Japan receiving record numbers of foreign tourists, shops and malls are introducing simpler tax refund procedures to attract more customers. Aiming to encourage still more overseas visitors, the government last April eased regulatio...

  • Rubber production

    Tire makers angry at Indian drive to save growers

    BANGALORE, India -- Pradeep Khosla, a Hyderabad-based hotel consultant, gets through a lot of tires driving his Honda City between appointments, but the cost of replacements is the least of his worries. "I used to ask for discounts when I bought new ...

  • Segway regulations

    Japan tries for smoother tourism

    TOKYO -- The joy of feeling a fresh breeze multiplies when it is coupled with adrenaline. Farms and forest parks across Japan are beginning to realize this -- and turn profits from it. They can thank the Segway. Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa ...

  • Auto giants

    GM, Ford report sharp profit growth amid strong sales in US, China

    NEW YORK -- General Motors and Ford Motor both reported sharp increases in profits for 2015, thanks to strong sales in two key markets -- North America and China. GM said Wednesday that its net profit soared 3.5-fold on the year to $9.68 billion ...

  • Thai tourism

    Industry hopes Chinese New Year brings prosperity

    BANGKOK - With the Chinese New Year looming, Thailand's tourism industry is hoping that the Golden Week beginning Feb. 8 will give a boost to the only bright spot in the country's sluggish economy. State-owned Airports of Thailand, which operates...

  • Auto industry

    Why Sri Lanka is snapping up Japan's used eco cars

    COLOMBO -- These days, visitors to Sri Lanka's largest city are in for an unexpected juxtaposition of old and new: On the one hand, colonial-era architecture and other vestiges of British rule; on the other, an abundance of shiny Japanese hybrids cru...

  • IT titans

    Google parent finally bests Apple in market cap

    SILICON VALLEY -- Alphabet has become the world's most valuable company, with the Google parent overtaking Apple in market capitalization during U.S. trading hours Tuesday. Apple stock has continued to fall, hit by slowing iPhone sales. And Alpha...

  • Japanese gaming industry

    Slowing smartphone game sales signal sea change

    TOKYO -- Tumbling earnings at a leading smartphone game developer show that market growth may have peaked, indicating a shift in focus from blockbusters to repeated successes as competition heats up. GungHo Online Entertainment's consolidated net...

  • Luxury autos

    Lexus, Infiniti, Acura boasted brisk sales in 2015

    NAGOYA -- The three big Japanese automakers enjoyed strong sales of luxury brands last year, buoyed by solid demand in the U.S. as well as in China, Europe and elsewhere. Sales for Toyota Motor's Lexus brand and Nissan Motor's Infiniti rose to th...

  • Negative interest rates

    Japanese banks pay more for dollars as demand seen surging

    TOKYO -- Japanese financial institutions' dollar-borrowing costs have jumped since the Bank of Japan's decision Friday to adopt negative interest rates as traders anticipate demand from banks seeking better investment opportunities abroad. The be...