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  1. Major hotel chains are waiving cancellation fees or offering refunds in China and beyond, as millions of people rethink their Lunar New Year travel plans following the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. At least six top hotel chains have said they will offer free changes or cancellations to bookings up to February 8, and with some offering the service worldwide. These include 5-star hotel group The Peninsula Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, French hospitality group Accor, Hilton, Marriott…
  2. The head of France’s state-controlled telecommunications operator Orange has renewed his defence of Huawei Technologies’ right to sell 5G equipment in Europe amid tense debates on the continent over mobile network security.Discussion has intensified in France and Germany this week after European industrial policy chief Thierry Breton dismissed claims that relying on European companies to build a 5G mobile network would delay its roll-out.US authorities have called for a complete ban on Huawei,…
  3. Huanxi Media Group’s shares surged after it announced Douyin’s parent ByteDance would pay it at least 630 million yuan (US$90.8 million) for new movies and dramas to stream on its top video platforms as a viral outbreak in mainland China forces cinemas to close.They include Lost in Russia, which Huanxi produced, one of seven films pulled from cinemas during Lunar New Year as China grapples with a coronavirus that has already claimed more than 20 lives.The full movie will now be streamed on…
  4. Optimism in the Hong Kong stock market about the incoming Year of the Rat has been diluted by the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, which will determine if the city’s stocks will make a “red debut” to the new year or not.Whether the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index closes on Wednesday, January 29, the first trading day in the Year of the Rat, higher than on the last trading day of the Year of the Pig on Friday – a red debut – will depend on how quickly the new infection spreads or is contained.“The…
  5. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said new rules are coming soon that will put more limits on American companies supplying China’s telecommunications leader Huawei Technologies.Huawei was blacklisted last year as a security threat by the administration of President Donald Trump. That prevented many US companies from selling to the Chinese company. However, some US suppliers worked around the rules to continue sending some crucial electronic components to Huawei.“They are works in progress that…
  6. Broadcom disclosed new agreements to provide components for Apple devices released through the middle of 2023.The San Jose, California-based chip maker said it entered into two multi-year pacts “for the supply of a range of specified high-performance wireless components and modules to Apple for use in its products.” That was in addition to another similar agreement that Broadcom reached with Apple in 2019. The three deals could generate about US$15 billion in future revenue, Broadcom added…
  7. iPhone maker Apple on Thursday pushed back against EU lawmakers’ call for a common charger, warning the move could hamper innovation, create a mountain of electronic waste and irk consumers.Apple’s comments came a week after lawmakers at the European Parliament called for a common charger for all mobile phones and amended a draft law to say the ability to work with common chargers would be an essential requirement for radio equipment in the bloc.A move to a common charger would affect Apple…
  8. The mainland Chinese markets are shut on Friday for the Lunar New Year holiday and will resume trading on January 31 now, a break that might prove to be the only respite for stocks amid a growing coronavirus outbreak. The numbers are rising – 25 dead, but 679 cases of infection and eight cities under lockdown – but the outbreak has not yet been classified as a global health emergency by the WHO.   The Hong Kong market, which fell below the psychologically important support level of 28,000…
  9. Some Hong Kong life insurance companies are placing their hopes on the return of more mainland Chinese customers to the city to help reverse a three-year slump in sales even as China and Hong Kong’s economies are slowing in tandem.Part of their optimism is based on the sense that anti-government protests in the Asian financial hub are subsiding since the start of the new year, after a period of violent clashes towards the end of 2019.“We are confident that there will be more mainland customers…
  10. More than a decade after falling in love with Niseko, two women entrepreneurs from Hong Kong are tapping into the booming tourism in the Japanese winter resort again with their third property development venture.Through Apex Property Ltd, co-founders Vicky Lam and Sylvia Tang are offering 17 plots of land in the first phase of the project called Hanacreek, which can be developed into homes and commercial uses such as hotels, inns, restaurants and retail stores.The plots range from 1,000 sq m …