- Apple Under Fire Over Privacy in Germany. American based company Apple has come under fierce scrutiny over its new plan to disclose user locations to geo-specific advertising companies. The previously anti-Orwellian company, that once labeled IBM as the world controller of the computer industry, is now being accused of taking the very same “Big Brother” role. Already considered invasive by some, the new terms and conditions that appear when purchasing from the Apple iTunes store (or App store) now state that Apple and its partner companies “may” anonymously disclose the “real-time geographic location” of that person’s Apple device, leading to an uproar by users and privacy groups in the United States and Germany.
- And in other Apple news … Apple Making New Push Into China. Apple is getting ready to open its flagship store in Shanghai. China is the world’s largest mobile phone market with the fastest growing consumer electronic product demand, that it is a wonder Apple has not already expanded fully into China. Over the next two years Apple plans to open 25 new retail stores so consumers will have the convenience of purchasing Apple products directly from the store, as opposed to on the black market. Though some say consumers will still choose the cheaper, smuggled phones, most analysts are convinced that Apple will highly benefit from the ever rising population of affluent Chinese and their booming economy.
- And in other China news … Google Tries New Approach to China. The government of China is requiring Google to change how users access its search engine, which now re-routes users to the Hong Kong based site (google.com.hk), to avoid censorship. The strict censorship laws that pertain to the China based site (google.com.cn) are forcing Google to lose its place in the Chinese market. Google says it tried this strategy to provide full-service results to its users, while still complying with Chinese law. Though China encourages foreign corporations to do business in China, these companies must be aware of and operate accordingly with the regulations and requirements of Chinese law.
- Cadmium in “Shrek” Glasses Could Extend to Past Souvenirs. McDonald’s has recalled approximately 12 million Shrek glasses after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found traces of cadmium in the glasses this month. However, activists and lawyers say the cadmium risks may be traced back to the previous Shrek movie glasses, among others. When tested, the glasses, made by Arc International, a French manufacturer in New Jersey, came up positive for cadmium, but still meet legal regulatory standards. Representatives of Arc International said the cadmium-based pigments are legal in all countries in which they do business. However, the CPSC wants to ensure that manufacturers in the United States, such as this company, and those abroad, such as in China or Germany, meet the required regulations in the safety of their products.
- Coming to America … SMFG Looks for U.S. Acquisition. The Japanese corporation Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (SMFG) is looking to acquire a 20% share in a U.S. bank in an attempt to strengthen its place in the world economy, as growth stagnates in Japan. SMFG will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange to make the acquisition process easier, but will also have to be aware of how to culturally and properly integrate with the U.S. bank, says Shinichi Ina, an analyst at Credit Suisse. Not only is SMFG focusing on a U.S. acquisition, but it is also looking to further increase its presence in fast growing Asian economies, particularly China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.
Compiled and summarized by Aylin S. Khor