Renault, Fiat Chrysler in talks on alliance: sources

French and Italian-US auto giants Renault and Fiat Chrysler are set to announce talks on an alliance, with a view to a potential merger, informed sources said on Sunday. Renault and FCA are likely to unveil the move “within hours, perhaps tomorrow (Monday), before the (Paris) bourse opens,” one of the sources told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding an eventual “merger” was on the agenda. The same source added a statement would cover “the […]

China slams US ‘lies’ about Huawei’s government ties

by Laurent THOMET BEIJING, China (AFP) — China ramped up a war of words with the United States over Huawei on Friday, accusing Washington of spreading “lies” about the telecom giant thrust to the center of their trade war. The fiery response came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected Huawei’s denials that the Chinese company works with the Communist government. The Trump administration has infuriated Beijing by blacklisting the smartphone and telecommunications […]

Most Asian markets see further losses as trade row rumbles along

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — The increasingly fractious trade row between China and the United States was the main focus of Asian investor angst Friday, with most markets down to extend the previous day’s steep losses, though oil edged back from a painful sell-off. With little hope for a quick turnaround in the standoff the economic superpowers appear to be digging in their heels as they exchange barbs, blaming each other for the breakdown in […]

Trump: US-China trade deal could include Huawei

by Rob Lever / with Ryan McMorrow and Laurent Thomet in Beijing WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday for the first time linked a dispute over telecom giant Huawei, which he views as a threat to American security, with a deal to resolve the US-China trade war. “Huawei is something that is very dangerous,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, […]

Adidas, Nike, PUMA say new tariffs on China would be ‘catastrophic’

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Adidas, Nike and PUMA on Tuesday urged US President Donald Trump to prevent the shoe industry from falling victim to the trade war with China, saying new tariffs could be “catastrophic.” In a letter to Trump, those big name manufacturers joined forces with more than 170 other American shoe manufacturers and retailers calling for footwear to be exempted from a new round of punitive tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese […]

Google signs deal with Cuba to boost internet services

Agence France Presse HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) – US tech giant Google on Thursday signed a deal with Cuban operator ETECSA to explore ways of boosting internet service on the communist-run island, despite diplomatic tensions between Washington and Havana. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding in Havana aimed at speeding up connectivity to help bring communications on the island into the 21st century, a key policy of President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Cuba’s internet provider is currently […]

Netflix, makers of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, team up for Thai cave rescue production

by Aidan JONES Agence France Presse BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) – Netflix agreed Tuesday to team up with the makers of “Crazy Rich Asians” for a production based on the gripping real-life rescue of the “Wild Boars” football team from a flooded Thai cave. But the streaming giant would not immediately be drawn on whether it would give the saga its high-end mini-series treatment or be made into a film. The 12 boys and their coach […]

Masters of puppets: Indonesia’s ‘Ondel-Ondel’ kids

by Dessy SAGITA¬† JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) – Peeking through a slit in her giant puppet costume, Indonesian teen Juniarti is drenched in sweat as she moves stiffly under the blistering sun. The 15-year-old and a motley crew of other children — some as young as nine — make a living by strapping on two-metre (6.5 foot) brightly coloured folk effigies known as Ondel-Ondel. The giant-headed puppets are a staple on the streets of Indonesia’s bustling […]

Samsung shares surge as Huawei struggles

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Samsung Electronics surged more than four percent Tuesday on the back of its chief rival Huawei’s mounting problems, including a decision by Google to sever ties with the Chinese mobile phone maker. US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said this week it is cutting ties with Huawei to comply with an executive order issued by President Donald Trump. The move could […]

Huawei will not bow to US pressure: founder

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is ready to deal with Washington’s crackdown and will reduce its reliance on US components, its founder told Japanese media. President Donald Trump effectively barred Huawei from the US market on Wednesday and added it to a list which would restrict US sales to the firm amid an escalating trade war with Beijing. “We have already been preparing for this,” Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told a group of Japanese […]

Oil producers meet to discuss output amid Iran tension

Major crude producers are set to meet Sunday to discuss how to stabilise a volatile oil market amid rising US-Iran tensions in the Gulf, which threaten to disrupt supply. Key OPEC members and other major suppliers including Russia will assess the oil market and examine compliance to production cuts agreed late last year. But the subject of Iran, which is not present, will dominate the one-day meeting of the OPEC+ group. It comes days after […]

Asian markets tick up after Trump tweets but uncertainty remains

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — A series of tweets by Donald Trump playing up the chances of a trade deal with China provided a much-needed boost to Asian equities Wednesday but investors trod cautiously as analysts warned of more volatility to come. After more than doubling tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods last week — sparking retaliation from Beijing — Trump has threatened to hit a further $300 billion with more levies if he […]