Trends

Medical research

Genomic screening project aims to foster trials of new cancer drugs

TOKYO -- Drugmakers in Japan, U.S. and Europe are teaming up to discover new drugs based on human genetic data. Led by the National Cancer Center of Japan, the joint research by private companies and academic institutions will collect genetic informa...

  • Space, cost constraints

    Some Indians still happy with window-type air conditioners

    NEW DELHI -- Window air conditioners are still in strong demand among low-income Indians and those living in old homes, but overall they are losing their appeal. Window air conditioners are installed in windows or cutouts in walls. They straddle ...

  • China's 'deceleration pressure'

    SAIC Motor logs meager profit gain, Dongfeng books 19% decline

    HONG KONG -- Two Chinese state-owned automakers reported disappointing results for the January-June half, reflecting a market slowdown amid what one of them, SAIC Motor, has called mounting "deceleration pressure" on the country's broader economy. ...

  • Ring of Fire's blessing

    Japan, West looking to ride geothermal boom in Indonesia, Philippines

    TOKYO -- Development of geothermal power plants is picking up in Indonesia and the Philippines, providing opportunities for many Japanese and Western companies. At the Sarulla Geothermal Power Plant under construction on northern Sumatra in Indon...

  • Bad loans on the rise

    Profit growth slows at China's state-run banks

    HONG KONG/SHANGHAI -- Earnings growth at the nation's three large state-owned banks has slowed to a crawl as a sputtering economy leads to more bad loans and the central bank cuts interest rates. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultu...

  • Japan's shrinking market

    Life insurers fight to survive

    TOKYO -- All life insurers doing business in Japan reach a point where they need to decide whether to continue against intense local competition. The nation's shrinking population means less of a smaller market, and customer needs are diversifying. ...

  • Overseas woes

    Chinese oil companies looking inward for resource development

    HONG KONG -- Chinese state-owned oil companies with operations abroad have shifted into self-preservation mode and begun to think that home is where the heart is. In a Beijing tower housing the headquarters of Sinopec Group, stern faces fill a ro...

  • End of expansion era?

    Pummeled Chinese oil giants pressured to curtail investments

    HONG KONG -- Three state-run Chinese oil companies, dubbed red majors for their influence, may be nearing the end of their expansion era, hit by cheap crude oil prices, a slowing economy and government-led reforms. The giants are under greater pr...

  • Ongoing slump

    Japanese chip equipment makers hurt by slow computer demand

    TOKYO -- Sluggish demand for personal computers and smartphones is shrinking business for major Japanese companies that make equipment for semiconductor manufacturing. Seven production device makers, including Japanese market leader Tokyo Electro...

  • Chairmen play musical chairs

    A merger may be afoot in China's telecom industry

    HONG KONG -- With surprise leadership changes at China's three state-owned, market-dominating telecoms, could consolidation be far off? A former high-level Chinese government official has taken over as chairman of industry leader China Mobile, wh...

  • Electric trikes

    Goodbye, nasty 'tuk-tuk'; hello, clean, green machine

    TOKYO -- The ancient city of Luang Prabang in northern Laos, with its countless Buddhist temples, is wrapped in silence at 5:30 a.m. Suddenly, the calm is shattered by a roar of three-wheeled tuk-tuk taxi bringing tourists for a look at the monks out...

  • Aftereffects rippling

    Tourism in Thailand languishing after Bangkok bombing

    BANGKOK -- Thailand's tourism industry is reeling from the bombing that killed 20 people and injured more than 100 others including tourists in Bangkok on Aug. 17. "A minimum of three months," said Suthikiati Chirathivat, chairman of the Central ...

  • Serviced apartments

    Demographic changes across Asia reflect a new class of mid-level migrant workers

    SINGAPORE -- The serviced apartment industry in Southeast Asia -- which traditionally serves well-heeled traveling executives with high-end features such as full concierge and butler services -- is expanding its business focus to the needs of a less ...

  • Need for speed

    China's 4G mobile users top 200m

    TOKYO -- Subscribers to 4G mobile phone service surpassed 200 million in China as of the end of the first half. Market leader China Mobile's 4G subscriber base numbered 190 million at the end of June, up 100 million in six months. China Telecom's...

  • China's growth woes

    Beijing sabotaging its drive to produce 'quality' companies

    SHANGHAI -- China is grappling with the most difficult element of its economic growth scenario -- the much-talked-about shift from quantity to quality. While the country has enjoyed huge success with its quantity-oriented approach to growth, Beij...

  • Rolling stock sector

    Japan's rail companies pitch safety record to tap Asian market

    TOKYO -- Japanese companies are seeking to grab a bigger slice of Asia's growing railway transportation markets by pitching their sophisticated safety technologies and stellar safety records. As Japanese businesses are losing out to Western rival...

  • Overseas charge

    Japan carmakers giving green cars more oomph

    TOKYO -- Japanese automakers are revamping their eco-friendly vehicles to give them better mileage -- and, hopefully, better global sales appeal. Despite their world-beating green technology, Japan's carmakers are struggling to grab a bigger shar...

  • China's Wanda Group

    Major developer to shut down 40 department stores, other outlets

    DALIAN, China -- Chinese private property developer Dalian Wanda Group plans to undergo restructuring of its unprofitable businesses. It will likely close nearly half of its department stores, responding to the slump in high-end items affected by the...

  • Stop and smell the dong

    Vietnam fast becoming Asia's flower production center

    TOKYO/HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnam is becoming a major flower exporter. It finds itself well situated not only to feed Japan, Asia's largest flower market, but also China and other Southeast Asian nations. During the past decade, Vietnam has quadr...

  • Japan reform

    Some may buck corporate governance trend

    TOKYO -- While the Japanese government pushes for corporate governance reform, companies are starting to find their own ways to engage with the market. Ahead of others, medical equipment maker Omron and fish specialty store operator Uoriki went a...