Displaying items by tag: Dispute

Taiwanese electronic colossus Foxconn has now admitted that it is currently reassessing its plans to invest in a new $10bn factory in Wisconsin.

When first announced it was hailed as a significant win for US President Donald Trump who had promised rust-belt states that he would breathe new life into the manufacturing sector and create millions of jobs.

However, that deal now may be dead in the water due to the ongoing dispute between Beijing and Washington that is becoming increasingly toxic. 

Foxconn manufactures devices and components for a host of the world’s leading technology leaders including Apple, and had previously unveiled its plans to build the $10 billion plant to make LCD flat screen televisions which would also in turn create around 13,000 new jobs.

The investment was vetoed by $4bn in controversial tax concessions which were embraced by Trump who said the deal was another illustration of his campaign promise which was to put America ‘first’ again. Trump has also tried to strong arm other tech giants like Apple offering them tax breaks if they move manufacturing back to the United States.

Trump appeared with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou at a groundbreaking ceremony proclaiming and stated that, "This is just the beginning. This is one of the largest plants in the world."

However, the global economic climate roiled by Trump's trade war with China where Foxconn has most of its assembly lines -- has led officials at the Taiwanese company to look again at the plans.

"The global market environment that existed when the project was first announced has changed. As our plans are driven by those of our customers, this has necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin," Foxconn said in a statement Thursday.

However, Foxconn has moved swiftly to deny it’s pulling out of the proposed investment and released an official statement saying it is remained committed to building its science park in Wisconsin and wants to help create 13,000 jobs". 

Woo told Bloomberg, "We’re not scrapping our plans at all. However, given the global economic conditions and the trade tensions between China and the US, its’ impossible to say that we can always stay committed to our original plan without any change."

Published in Government

Indian operator Reliance Communications has made a partial payment of $18.6m to Ericsson in an effort to defuse their ongoing dispute after the Swedish vendor had called for the imprisonment of its chairman Anil Ambani after the company’s failure to pay the entirety of the services charges owed.

In a statement released by RCom, it confirmed that it had deposited a payment of $18.6 with the Supreme Court registry from operational funds it had at its disposal. In addition to this, it said it was taking all required steps towards enabling a settlement.

The Indian conglomerate also stressed in the statement that it remained fully committed to making the outstanding payment to Ericsson, and said it would be able to do so with the proceeds of a spectrum asset sale to Reliance Jio.

Ericsson is owed $78.5m in unpaid service charges, but the dispute between the pair escalated when RCom failed to settle the service charge on the date it was instructed to by the Supreme Court. In response to this, Ericsson increased the pressure on the Indian firm by filing a second contempt of court case against Anil Ambani, and said he should be detained in civil prison until the outstanding amount is settled.

RCom, which has all but exited the Indian mobile market, missed the original 30 September deadline to make the payment, but was then granted a reprieve until 15 December, a deadline which it also missed.

The company argued it was unable to make the payment in time because of delays by regulator Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in approving its spectrum sale to Reliance Jio, a deal first struck in December 2017. RCom reached a deal to sell off the majority of its mobile assets to Reliance Jio after creditors, including Ericsson, took action against the company over huge debts.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Germany bans the sale of iPhones

Written on Friday, 21 December 2018 07:20

A German court ruled in favor of US chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute case against Apple, which could lead to a ban on sales of iPhones in Germany. This marks a second major win for Qualcomm in a month after a court in China on December 10 ordered a prohibition on iPhone sales over a separate patent dispute there.

Published in Telecom Vendors

The CFO at Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei has been arrested and detained in Canada, in a move that has been met with vehement criticism amongst authorities in Beijing, who have called for her immediate release.

Published in Telecom Vendors

ZTE’s share price nosedives as it resumes trading

Written on Thursday, 14 June 2018 08:26

Chinese telecommunications behemoth ZTE has seen its share price plummet by a whopping 39% following the resumption of its trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The Chinese vendor was able to resume trading after it reached a resolution agreement with the United States.

ZTE looked set to go out of business following the decision by the US Commerce Department to prohibit American companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to it for a period of seven years.

US officials implemented the ban after it claimed ZTE had failed to make the changes to its Board of Directors after being found guilty of trade violations with Iran and North Korea in 2016. However, following protracted negotiations between Beijing and Washington a settlement deal was finally reached which allowed ZTE to resume business in the United States.

The telecommunications colossus may have been saved but that didn’t stop its share price from nosediving by 39.22 to HK$15.56 during Hong Kong morning trade - while it also plunged by its 10 percent daily limit to 28.18 yuan in Shenzhen.

Fiscal analysts have predicted that whilst the nightmare for ZTE may be over with the US, the company will have to deal with the consequences of that saga for a significant period of time.

Analysts Edison Lee and Timothy Chau said, “While the nightmare is now over, ZTE will likely have to deal with many changes. We expect significant near-term selling pressure and a volatile stock price."

The ZTE crisis was a major issue during trade talks between the US and China, and the Trump administration were able to use that as leverage in the discussions. The ZTE settlement came just days after Beijing offered to increase purchases of US goods by $70bn in an effort to cut the yawning trade imbalance with the US.

It has been reported that Trump has demanded a $200 billion reduction in its trade deficit with China over two years.

“The US agreement with ZTE with fine and change of management, in other words, is a political deal," said analyst Dickie Wong at Kingston Securities. "If the US didn't 'free' ZTE in this way, US companies would find it very difficult in any moves in China, including decisions on mergers and acquisitions," Wong added.

Published in Telecom Vendors

US chipmaker Qualcomm has been left reeling following the decision made by an arbitration panel to award Canada’s BlackBerry a sum of $814.9m in a settlement dispute relating to royalties for certain past sales. In 2016, both companies took the decision to arbitrate the dispute which centered on Qualcomm’s agreement to cap certain royalties applied to payments made to BlackBerry under a licensing deal.

US listed shares of BlackBerry have risen to around 16% at $8.94 in heavy premarket trading, whilst Qualcomm was down around 1% at $54.81. However, the arbitration panel sided with BlackBerry and ordered Qualcomm to pay the Canadian firm $814.9m in royalties. Qualcomm has voiced their displeasure at the decision, but the payment is binding and the decision is not appealable.

Qualcomm is currently fighting a high-profile lawsuit which was field by Apple Inc. in which it has accused the organization of overcharging for chips and alleged that it refused to pay some $1billion in promised rebates. In addition to this, Qualcomm has faced strong criticism from the US government who accused the company of deliberately resorting to anticompetitive tactics in order to maintain a monopoly of the key semiconductors in mobile phones.

Despite the dispute, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said Wednesday that the companies "continue to be valued technology partners." He said BlackBerry will continue to collaborate with Qualcomm, specifically for security in the auto industry and in application-specific integrated circuits. BlackBerry said a final award including interest and reasonable attorneys' fees will be issued after a hearing on May 30. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP represented BlackBerry in the proceeding.

Published in Finance

US tech giants Apple have seen a ban prohibiting the company from selling its iPhone 6 phones in China overturned following a legal hearing. A Chinese court ruled in its favor in a patent dispute between the Californian based company and a domestic phone-maker. The legal row began in May last year, when a Beijing based patent regulator took the decision to order Apple’s Chinese subsidiary and local retailer Zoom-Flight to immediately stop selling iPhones after Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services lodged an official complaint with the regulatory authority.

The company claimed that the patent for the design of its mobile phone 100c was being infringed by the iPhone sales. Apple strongly objected to both the claims and subsequent decision to ban the sale of iPhone 6 devices by the regulatory authorities. Management at Apple and Zoom-Flight launched legal proceedings and took the Beijing Intellectual Property Office’s ban to courts.

At the hearing, the court decided to revoke the ban imposed on Apple and Zoom-Flight and declared that both organizations did not violate Shenzhen Baili’s design patent for 100c phones. The court said that the regulator did not follow due procedures in ordering the ban. In addition to this, the court said there was a distinct lack of sufficient proof to claim the designs constituted a violation of intellectual property rights.

It has not yet been disclosed whether or not representatives of Beijing Intellectual Property Office and Shenzhen Baili will appeal the decision by the court, and a spokesman representing both organizations said they would take time before making a decision in relation to the legal ruling. In addition to this, the same court denied Apple’s demand to strip Shenzhen Baili of its design patent for 100c phone.

Apple first filed the request to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office. The board rejected the request, but Apple lodged a lawsuit against the rejection. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday ruled to maintain the board's decision. It is unclear if Apple will appeal.

Published in Government

US satellite radio station Sirius XM  have agreed to pay $100 million in order to settle a dispute over playing music prior to 1972 – which is when US copyright laws came into force. Just last year, Sirius XM, which has its headquarters in New York, was forced to pay out a whopping $210 million over pre-1972 songs which were owned by major record labels.

Sirius XM – whose audience would be of the more mature variety, generally plays rock classics from the 60’s and 70’s, but this week a judge in LA ruled in favour of a series of class-action lawsuits against Sirius XM which were championed by 60’s group The Turtles – better known for their 1967 hit –‘Happy Together’.

The group also campaigned on behalf of smaller label and independent artists, and they argued that their music had still been protected by US states even though federal copyright law only applies to recordings starting on February 15, 1972. On the eve of a federal trial, lawyers The Turtles this week filed a proposed settlement with Sirius XM to resolve the suits in a federal court in Los Angeles.

If approved by federal judge Philip Gutierrez, Sirius XM will pay up to $100 million for past and future airing of pre-1972 songs, with the exact amount contingent on the network's revenue. The Turtles have a similar case pending against Pandora, the leading US internet radio network.

The United States has a complicated system of royalty payments that has long frustrated record labels and artists, with traditional radio stations paying only songwriters and not performers. The rise of internet and satellite music sites has muddled the waters further, with companies negotiating conditions with labels and publishers.

Published in Satellite Industry