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REWIND: International Business News #44

Posted on November 16th, 2012 | Author: admin

  • California’s cap-and-trade program that sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions began this past Wednesday with an auction on state-issued pollution allowances, creating a market for the sale of rights to pollute. Companies who exceed their allotted emission allowance must choose to either obtain extra allowances or purchase credits from projects that cut emissions.  The efforts by the state address the need to deal with pollution and the effects of global climate change.  As a pioneer, California may be setting a standard in slowing climate change or may have dealt itself an economic blow by causing refiners, cement makers, and other manufacturers to move out of state.  “The world’s biggest cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases, pioneered by the European Union, has struggled with a chronic oversupply of carbon allowances and sagging prices.”
  • Apple Inc. and HTC Corp reached a settlement on lawsuits between the companies around the world and agreed to a ten year licensing agreement. HTC joins Nokia in settling litigation with Apple, while Apple continues its global patent war with Samsung Electronics Co., Google Inc. and Motorola over their handset units.
  • China’s Cyberpolice have been stiffening controls on the internet leading up to the change in leadership in the Communist Party.  The web police have even reached out to Beijing companies, as well as companies in nearby cities, including those that are joint ventures with American corporations, to install hardware that logs the traffic on computers, blocks selected websites, and connects with local Chinese police servers.  Companies who do not comply within deadlines are threatened with fines and suspended internet service. The government’s recent shadowy tactics and more intrusive measures are aimed at addressing gaps in China’s “great firewall.”  Some foreign companies have resisted the orders, but it places their communications and trade secrets at risk.
  • After spending roughly $2 billion on a fleet of giant ships for carrying iron ore from Brazil to China, the Brazilian mining company, Vale SA was informed by Chinese regulators that the cargo vessels, known as Valemax, could not enter Chinese ports due to safety concerns, dealing a significant blow to Vale’s global distribution strategy.  Industry observers, however, believe that the opposition stemmed from a Chinese shipping-industry group dominated by a state-owned company. In a country where state-owned enterprises and regulators work closely blurring divisional lines, there will be considerable challenges to overhaul the system to achieve sustainable growth, promote competition and shake up state-controlled companies.