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Another Analysis of Japanese Electronics Firms, This Time by Economist

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发表于 7-12-2014 08:21:37 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Japanese electronics firms  | Eclipsed by Apple; Electronics companies in Japan are starting to turn themselves around, but they are a shadow of their former selves. Economist, July 12, 2014.
www.economist.com/news/business/ ... und-they-are-shadow

Quote:

“On July 1st the firm [Sony] bid a final farewell to its Vaio personal computers * * * which had kept a tiny stake in the business. * * * Vaio is the most significant business Sony has quit in recent times. Cutting it adrift may be the start of a far-reaching reorganisation. On the same day the firm shifted its loss-making televisions arm, once the core of its profits and brand image, into a separate legal entity.”

“Even at home in Japan’s thriving consumer-electronics market—only Americans have more devices per person than the tech-obsessed Japanese—[Japan’s consumer electronics titans] have lost much ground. Local firms have largely ceded the PC market, and they are losing out quickly in mobile phones. They never really made their mark in smartphones, today’s most-desired gadgets. * * * foreign smartphones [imported into Japan] account for about a fifth of it [Japan’s perennial trade deficits].

“With a few exceptions such as Mr Tsuga, Japanese bosses, with an average age of 60, are extremely cautious [ie, not visionary]. Years of losses and restructuring make it still harder for them to place bold bets on future technologies. In particular, they are still too attached to Japan’s culture of lifetime employment. At most large Japanese firms, around a third of permanent staff are surplus to requirements, yet cannot be fired due to the country’s unclear labour rules[: Japanese laws make laying off workers difficult; limited voluntary severance packages typically offer two to three years’ pay]


Note:
(a) Quotation 1 is kind of ambiguous. The fact is Sony on July 1, 2014 quit PC and VAIO Corp (which Sony had retained 5% ownership between February and July 1, 2014). Now Vaio is wholly owned by Japan Industrial Partners, Inc (which in the first half of 2014 owned 95% stakes), which continues making Vaio PC.
(i) Vaio
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaio
(VAIO Corp, standing for Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer, was originally a brand [of PC] of Sony Corporation, introduced in 1996)

Incorporated in February 2014 when Sony sold the brand.
(ii) Sony’s new wholly-owned subsidiary to make TV is Sony Visual Products  ソニー ビジュアル プロダクツ. On the same day (July 1), Sony announced adopting Google Android platform for its television sets whose brand name is Bravia (brand)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bravia_(brand)
(a backronym of "Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture)

(b) “Eiichi KATAYAMA of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo”
片山 栄一

(c) “Kazuhiro TSUGA, its [Panasonic’s] newish chief executive”
津賀 一宏 (“tsu” is Japanese pronunciation for 津 (meaning “port”); “ga” is Chinese pronunciation for 賀)

(d) “Hidemi Moue, boss of Japan Industrial Partners, the private-equity buyer of Vaio”
(i) Hidemi MOUE  馬上 英実
(the surname 馬上--meaning “atop a horse” rather than “immediately”--has many pronunciation; mo-ue【もうえ】is one of them)
(ii) Japan Industrial Partners, Inc  日本産業パートナーズ株式会社
www.jipinc.com/
* パートナーズ is katakana for “pa-tona-zu” where the dash (“-”) means a long vowel.
* The website is in Japanese only--no English.
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