Thursday, January 5, 2017

Trump threat to Toyota over Mexico plant; Samsung profit surges 50%; Worrying over social media 'likes'

1 Trump threat to Toyota over Mexico plant (Sam Thielman in The Guardian) Donald Trump has threatened Toyota with a “big border tax” if it didn’t build cars meant for the US within the states, the latest in a series of attacks on car manufacturers and the first time since his election that he has threatened a foreign company.

The $1bn plant will be located Guanajuato, a state in central Mexico, not Baja California, as Trump tweeted. Toyota plans to increase capacity at an existing plant in Tijuana, Baja California, that makes Tacoma pickup trucks.

Toyota plans to manufacture 200,000 Corollas at the new plant. The Corolla is the second bestselling compact car in the US behind fellow Japanese manufacturer Honda’s Civic. Trump’s latest threat follows a similar one against General Motors over its plans to manufacture compact cars south of the border for US export.

Jorge Guajardo, the former Mexican ambassador to China, immediately lit into Trump: “If you think intentionally wrecking your neighbor’s economy is what’s going to bring peace and stability to US you’re in for a big surprise,” he tweeted.

Last month Trump threatened “retribution” against companies outsourcing factory work to foreign facilities. “There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies,” he tweeted, naming car and air conditioner manufacturers in the same series of remarks.

But threatening car companies with taxation has barely caused the market to blink. The US president cannot personally levy taxes; that duty falls to state legislatures and the US House of Representatives, which holds the “power of the purse”.

2 Samsung profit surges 50% (BBC) Despite the fiasco with its flagship Galaxy Note 7 phone, Samsung Electronics is forecasting a 50% surge in profits for the fourth quarter. The earnings estimate is higher than analysts' predicted and would mark its highest quarterly profit since 2013.

In October, the world's largest smartphone maker had to scrap the Note 7 after batteries caught fire and even replacement devices went up in smoke. The strong results are due to Samsung's semiconductor and display businesses.

The South Korean tech giant said it expected to post 9.2tn won ($7.8bn, £6.2bn) in operating profit for the months from September to December. Demand for memory chip and displays is expected to remain high throughout 2017, giving investors a bright outlook for the next year.

3 Worrying over social media ‘likes’ (Khaleej Times) New research shows that a majority of people feel upset when their friends get more likes than them. "Our relationship with social media has developed into a vicious cycle. We want to go onto our favourite social platforms to tell all of our connections about the positive things we are doing - that makes us feel good," said Evgeny Chereshnev, head of Social Media at Kaspersky Lab.

"But the reality is that everyone is doing the same thing, so when we log onto social media we are bombarded with images and posts of our friends having fun. And it looks like they're enjoying life more than us. It's easy to see why this is leaving people feeling down and why so many people have considered leaving social media altogether.

"The difficulty is that people feel trapped because so many of their precious memories have been stored on social media and they don't want to lose access to these." The research, from Kasperky Lab, also shows that as many as 41 per cent of people in the UAE admit to feeling envious when they see the seemingly happier lives on social media.

Previous research has also demonstrated peoples' frustration with social media as 78 per cent globally admitted that they have considered leaving social networks altogether.51% in the UAE noted that their friends’ holiday pictures have had a 'negative influence' on them and 65% admit to feelings of unhappiness stemming from friends' posts.

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