2009年8月30日 星期日

Hey, PC, Who Taught You to Fight Back?

Hey, PC, Who Taught You to Fight Back?

Published: August 29, 2009

SEAN SILER would never be mistaken for a movie star. A former Navy officer who wears glasses and is a tad on the heavy side, Mr. Siler works at Microsoft, where he oversees the Windows division’s adoption of new Internet connectivity software called IPv6.

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Fighting Apple on Its Turf

Weekend Business Podcast, including Devin Leonard on the Apple-Microsoft ad wars:


Times Topics: Microsoft Corporation | Apple Inc.

A Microsoft ad featured Lauren, who was shopping on a budget and decided not to spring for a $1,000 MacBook.

In one of Apple's commercials, the PC character tries to raise money to fix Vista, Microsoft's latest operating system.

But there were audible gasps last summer when Mr. Siler, 39, auditioned for Microsoft’s new ad campaign for Windows, created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the Miami agency best known for its cheeky work for Mini Cooper and Burger King.

“I was like, ‘Are you kidding?’ ” recalls Rob Reilly, one of the agency’s executive creative directors. “It couldn’t have been more perfect.”

Everybody agreed that Mr. Siler looked exactly like PC, the character played by the comedian John Hodgman in Apple’s popular “Get a Mac” ads that lampoon Windows-based computers and those who love them. Two weeks later, Mr. Siler reported to a nearby television studio. The agency dressed him in PC’s dorky uniform — white shirt, baggy khakis, brown sport coat and matching brown tie — and handed him a script with the lines: “I’m a PC. And I’ve been made into a stereotype.”

Mr. Siler joined a parade of environmentalists, budget-conscious laptop shoppers, mixed martial arts fighters, mash-up DJs and remarkably tech-savvy preschoolers who appear in Microsoft’s new campaign, which is intended to show that real Windows users aren’t all clueless drones.

For Mr. Siler, the experience was almost like being a geeky incarnation of Brad Pitt. His e-mail address was on the screen, and he received 4,000 messages from viewers — some from grateful parents whose children had wanted expensive Macs over PCs and now had second thoughts.

Crispin put up a video on YouTube in which Mr. Siler discussed his role in the campaign; it was viewed more than 702,000 times. At work, he was constantly interrupted by his fellow Microsoft employees. “For a couple of weeks,” Mr. Siler recalls, “I had people coming by my office and saying: ‘Hey, you are the PC guy, aren’t you? That’s so cool!’ ”

His mother wasn’t so sure. “You look so horrible,” she told him. “You don’t look anything like that man. Why did they make you look so bad?”

Somebody better explain to Mr. Siler’s mother that this isn’t a beauty contest; it’s an ad war, one destined to go down in history with the cola wars of the 1980s and ’90s and the Hertz-Avis feud of the 1960s. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Apple spent $264 million on television ads last year, 71 percent more than Microsoft. In the first six months of 2009, however, Microsoft responded with $163 million worth of commercials, more than twice Apple’s spending.

Surprisingly, Microsoft, which has never been known for running cool ads, has landed some punches. Shortly after the Microsoft campaign started, Apple unleashed commercials that mocked its competitor as spending money on advertising when it should have been fixing Vista, its much-maligned operating system.

“It got Apple’s attention, didn’t it?” says Robert X. Cringely, host of PBS’s NerdTV.

FOR years, Microsoft was the stodgy market leader. It sold 90 percent of the world’s operating system software, and generally left the advertising to Dell, H.P. and other hardware makers who licensed Windows. The only time Microsoft hawked its most recognizable brand on television was when the latest version of the software hit the shelves. Then the company flooded the airwaves with commercials full of loud music and swirling imagery saying that the new version of Windows is out — and that it’s awesome!

Apple is the classic smaller insurgent. Its share for desktops and laptops in the United States is just over 8 percent. Every time Apple grabs another point of market share from Microsoft’s partners, its stock price climbs. And one way that Apple has tried to gain share is by running clever ads that ridicule everything Microsoft stands for.

There’s no better example than “Get a Mac,” unveiled three years ago by Apple’s longtime ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day. No technology company would choose Mr. Hodgman’s character, PC, to personify its brand. He reeks of the past. He boasts of using his desktop to make spreadsheets and ridicules his more youthful friend, Mac, played by the actor Justin Long, for using his desktop for “juvenile” pursuits like blogging and movie making — even through it’s clear that PC would like to be in on the fun. He just can’t get his Windows computer to do his bidding.

Like a classic sitcom character — think Ralph Kramden of “The Honeymooners” — PC is always dreaming up ill-advised schemes intended to show his superiority. He’s thwarted by viruses, system crashes and other problems more associated with Windows-based computers than Apple’s products — and, recently, he has become a hapless apologist for Vista. Mr. Long’s character smugly watches his friend’s pratfalls, glancing at the audience with raised eyebrows as if to say, “If only this poor guy would buy a Mac. . . .”

PC will never learn. Not as long as he keeps driving sales for Apple. Since 2006, the year that he first appeared in all his pasty-faced glory, Apple’s share of the computer desktop market in the United States has more than doubled, according to IDC, the technology industry research firm. Its stock price, meanwhile, has risen 142 percent since May 2006, while Microsoft’s has barely budged. Yes, the astonishing success of newer Apple products like the iPod and the iPhone has helped. But the PC character should also take a bow. (Representatives of Apple and TBWA/Chiat/Day declined to be interviewed for this article.)

Apple’s ads put Microsoft in a bind. One of Madison Avenue’s rules is that a market leader never acknowledges a smaller competitor in its advertising. What’s more, if Microsoft responded with ads that backfired, it would look just like Mr. Hodgman’s character. Maybe it was better to grin and bear it.

Then, last year, Microsoft hired Crispin Porter and struck back with uncharacteristic wit. There was Mr. Siler’s star turn. The agency also handed bunches of cash to shoppers and asked them to choose between a PC and a Mac. Lauren, a 20-something in one of the “Laptop Hunter” spots, is giddy about the money she has left over when she selects a $699 H.P. with a 17-inch screen, rather than a $1,000 Mac with a 13-inch screen. “I guess I’m just not cool enough to be a Mac person,” she sighs. This time, the joke was on Apple. In a recession, it’s pretty hip to save $300.

Microsoft’s effort to inspire PC pride seemed to resonate after its debut last September. According to IDC, Mac shipments in the United States plummeted 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 versus the previous quarter, as the economy went into a tailspin, while those of PCs manufactured by Dell and H.P. fell only 13 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Microsoft was quick to declare victory — maybe too quick. In the second quarter this year, Mac sales in the United States rebounded 34 percent, IDC said, while Dell and H.P. had more modest gains. Even more humbling for Microsoft was the company’s announcement in late July that its year-over-year operating income for the quarter declined 29 percent.

As a result, some analysts have argued that the Microsoft campaign has failed. But they, too, may be too hasty. We are only weeks away from the Oct. 22 release of Windows 7, which may undo much of the company’s self-inflicted damage from Vista. PC users, many of whom skipped buying Vista machines, could be holding off until then to buy. And the introduction of Windows 7 will be accompanied by yet another Crispin Porter ad blitz.

“You are not so embarrassed to take your PC out of the bag on a plane anymore,” said Mr. Reilly at the ad agency. “It’s actually kind of cool that you do. I know this is working.”

EVERY Wednesday, Lee Clow, the creative director of TBWA/Chiat/Day, travels from Los Angeles to Cupertino, Calif., for his weekly meeting with Steven P. Jobs, the Apple chief executive. They started doing this years ago and have created ads that are as stylish and cool as anything on television. Usually, the subtext of these ads is that Microsoft is the Evil Empire.

Mr. Jobs started working with Mr. Clow, a laid-back former surfer dude, in the early 1980s when Mr. Clow helped to create Apple’s path-breaking “1984” television commercial introducing the Macintosh. The ad’s unsubtle message was that buyers of the new machine would be striking against I.B.M., portrayed as Apple’s Orwellian foe.

Mr. Jobs struggled to persuade Apple’s board to run the ad, which was directed by Ridley Scott. Mr. Clow was similarly adamant when his boss, the late Jay Chiat, tried to shelve it. The ad ran only once, during the 1984 Super Bowl, but it has never been forgotten.

Apple forced out Mr. Jobs the next year and hired a new ad agency, BBDO. But when Mr. Jobs returned triumphantly to the company in 1997, he reunited with TBWA/Chiat/Day. Mr. Clow brought him the idea for “Think Different,” a campaign that identified Apple with figures like Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr. Mr. Jobs used it to introduce the iMac and to re-establish Apple as an iconoclast.

TBWA/Chiat/Day went on to create the 2002 “Switchers” campaign, in which the director Errol Morris filmed real computer users describing why they ditched their PCs for a Mac. Who can forget Ellen Feiss, the slow-talking teenager who made the hearts of young geeks flutter when she explained how her PC ate her homework? “It was, like, beep beep beep beep beep beep beep,” Ms. Feiss says. “And then, like, half of my paper was gone.”

Then came the iPod ads from TWBA/Chiat/Day that not only helped drive sales of Apple’s breakout product, but also made stars of little-known indie rock acts like Feist. Such is the power of Apple’s marketing wizardry.

Many of Apple’s new customers were plugging their iPods into PCs. Mr. Clow proposed “Get a Mac” to get them thinking about springing for an Apple machine. Mr. Jobs was intrigued. But he wanted the ads to be perfect.

“The discussion within Apple was: ‘Is this the right tone? How young a guy should Mac be? How dorky do we make PC look?’ ” recalls Ken Segall, a former TBWA/Chiat/Day creative director who worked early on as a consultant for Apple on the campaign. “It went many rounds before Steve was comfortable with the idea. Then he loved it.”

IN spring 2007, a year after Apple introduced the “Get a Mac” ads, Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft C.E.O., barged into the office of Mich Mathews, head of the company’s central marketing group. The two had talked about a campaign that would repair the damage from the Apple ads.

Ms. Mathews recalls Mr. Ballmer enthusiastically asking her, “When are we going to move?”

Advertising has never seemed to be part of Microsoft’s DNA. The chairman, Bill Gates, “never really seemed to get marketing,” says Rob Enderle, a longtime technology industry analyst. And for many years, Mr. Enderle says, Mr. Ballmer “just didn’t think it was worth spending the money on it.”

The company’s Windows campaigns seemed to reflect executives’ lack of interest. Perhaps the best example was the push for Microsoft Vista in 2007, created by McCann Erickson with the slogan “The Wow Starts Now.” It showed people gaping in childlike wonder at the newest version of Windows. But Vista, to put it mildly, didn’t live up to the ads.

“The operating system was visually beautiful,” said Jeff Musser, a former McCann Erickson creative director who worked on the campaign. “But it was a bad product. I didn’t really hear anybody saying, ‘Wow.’ ”

There were also cultural issues at Microsoft when it came to advertising. On Madison Avenue, they say that the more hands that touch an advertisement, the worse it becomes. Microsoft felt differently. “They thought the more people saw it and gave an opinion, the better it would be,” Mr. Musser said. “That’s how you develop software. It’s not how you develop great creative.”

So Ms. Mathews tried to change things. She set up a nine-member task force to figure out a marketing strategy and keep meddlers at arm’s length.

In February 2008, Microsoft picked Crispin Porter. At the agency, Mr. Reilly was initially apprehensive. He didn’t even own a PC; he had an ultraslim MacBook Air. (He has since bought himself two PCs — a Sony Vaio and a Lenovo ThinkPad.)

The adman also wondered whether Microsoft was ready for a Crispin campaign. Mr. Reilly himself oversees the agency’s irreverent work for Burger King, aimed at young men hungering for menu items like the Triple Whopper.

He wanted to come up with a campaign that would redefine Windows, and he counseled against ads that attacked Apple. Then he changed his tune. Last summer in Apple ads, Mr. Hodgman’s PC character morphed into a personification of Microsoft itself. PC was haunted by problems with Vista. He took up yoga to calm his nerves, only to discover that his teacher was on edge because Vista wreaked havoc on her billing system. PC tried to find peace by creating a line of herbal teas with names like “Crashy-Time Camomile” and “Raspberry Restart.”

“As the tone of their campaign became more and more negative, we were like, ‘We gotta do something,’ ” Mr. Reilly said. “That’s where the whole notion of ‘I’m a PC’ and putting a face on our users came about. We have a billion users. That’s who our cast is, whereas Apple is just two fictitious characters.”

Microsoft recruited influential Windows fans like the “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria. “I feel bad about the little PC guy,” she said this month. “He is always getting beaten up.” It also brought in some who would appeal to niche audiences, like the Pittsburgh mash-up D.J. Gregg Gillis, who is better known as Girl Talk.

When Mr. Ballmer finally saw the ads in September, he congratulated Ms. Mathews and gave her a high-five. Then, Ms. Mathews says, he started shouting, “I’m a PC!”

THE new Windows campaign got off to an inauspicious start. Puzzling ads featuring Mr. Gates kidding around with the comedian Jerry Seinfeld left a lot of people scratching their heads. The ads quickly disappeared.

As the “I’m a PC” ads with Mr. Siler replaced them two weeks later, Apple’s “Get a Mac” spots disappeared. Microsoft doesn’t think that was a coincidence. When PC and Mac reappeared, it was in the advertising that criticized Microsoft as spending on ads rather than on Vista.

Microsoft thought that it had scored a point. “You’ve got to look at that and say, ‘You are not advertising to consumers; you’re advertising to the Microsoft marketing department,’ ” Ms. Mathews says. “I just admit that did bring a smile to my face.”

Emboldened, Microsoft continued its barrages. In February, it unveiled its “Rookies” ads, arguing that PCs are so easy to use that even Kylie, an adorable 4 1/2-year old, could upload a picture of her goldfish, Dorothy, onto her PC and e-mail it to her relatives. You want to make fun of Kylie, Apple? Microsoft and Crispin dare you to try it.

The next month, Microsoft deployed its “Laptop Hunters” ads. They clearly moved the needle in Microsoft’s favor. Ted Marzilli, a managing director of BrandIndex, a company that tracks consumer perceptions, said that at the beginning of the year, adults thought Apple offered more value than Microsoft. In May, however, Microsoft closed the gap in the firm’s surveys. “Apple took a hit,” Mr. Marzilli said. “Since then, they have been neck and neck.”

In June, Microsoft felt that it had more reason to gloat. The chief operating officer, B. Kevin Turner, says he got a call from an Apple lawyer who asked him to change the ads because Apple was lowering its prices by $100. “I did cartwheels down the hallway,” Mr. Turner subsequently boasted in speech at a New Orleans conference.

Then Apple announced its second-quarter rebound. And for some analysts, it seemed like game over. “The reality is that Apple’s business has been impacted by the overall economy, not by Microsoft’s campaign,” said Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. “Those ‘What can I get for 1,000 bucks’ ads? That was a clever campaign. But it never really caught on. If you compare it to ‘Get a Mac,’ it didn’t even register.”

And yet Apple keeps responding. On Friday, it released its Snow Leopard operating system a month ahead of schedule, accompanied by a new round of “Get a Mac” ads. One involves a red-headed woman who is clearly intended to resemble Microsoft’s Lauren. PC introduces her to his suave friend, a top-of-the-line model played by Patrick Warburton, who was David Puddy on “Seinfeld.” She declines to buy a Windows machine when they can’t promise that she won’t have virus woes.

Microsoft, however, has found it enjoys mixing it up with Apple on the airwaves. In July, Mr. Ballmer told analysts that Crispin’s work had been “quite effective.” He promised that Microsoft would continue investing heavily in Windows marketing. “We didn’t do that three, four, five, six years ago,” he added.

For Mr. Siler, this is a welcome change. “I’ve never seen more pride at Microsoft,” he says. “You walk through the campus, and you see people’s laptops that have ‘I’m a PC’ stickers on them. I walk in the company store, and there are these huge banners that say, ‘I’m a PC’ and shirts and ties and mugs. I think I made a difference. My God, that’s so cool!”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified B. Kevin Turner, the chief operating officer of Microsoft, as the company’s chief financial officer.

2009年8月27日 星期四


经济纵横 | 2009.08.27



自从掌握欧宝多数股份80多年来,美国通用汽车公司通过欧宝的品牌成功地进入了欧洲的汽车市场。美国通用在欧洲销售的所有汽车中,欧宝品牌 和沃豪品牌的汽车占百分之七十三。如果仅纵观西欧市场,那么欧宝汽车的市场份额甚至更高。只有东部欧洲,雪佛兰汽车的销售量才相对大些,而且大部分采用的 是欧宝汽车最老的设计。估计美国通用汽车公司不会轻易放弃欧宝。因为没有了欧宝就等于美国通用几乎没有了欧洲市场。因此,美国通用就欧宝公司的出售问题进 行了长时间的讨价还价,对此也有各种各样的传言。

德国贝尔吉施-格拉德巴赫专科大学汽车经济系教授布拉策尔认为,即便是美国通用出售欧宝,也将是暂时转给一位金融投资者。他说:"不能低估的是,作 为美国通用重要组成部分的欧宝汽车公司一旦被出售,等于通用公司失去了很大一部分。我认为,如果通用汽车想继续在全球发挥作用,它就应在欧洲拥有立足之 地。所以美国通用一直试图闯过难关,力图至少今后能够重新收回欧宝的多数股权。"

特别是在油价上涨,中低档汽车受到青睐的时期更是如 此。因为通用汽车公司的其他品牌没有这种中低档汽车,除了欧宝之外,通用汽车甚至从不去考虑如何降低汽车马力,加强其它性能,减少耗油量。但是欧宝的开发 中心就考虑到了这些问题。而且还为所有工厂研制了新的生产流程。例如位于德国爱森纳赫的工厂长期以来被认为是通用最现代化工厂的一个样板。通用在波兰,中 国,泰国,巴西和阿根廷也根据这一样板建立了工厂。

通用汽车欧洲地区总裁福斯特估计,欧宝设计开发中心6500名技术人员,工程师和设计师的费用总计15亿欧元,等于在欧洲销售的每辆汽车,就有 750欧元的研发费用。实际费用还远不止这些。因为为整个集团服务的不仅仅是欧宝汽车公司自己的工程师,福斯特说,"还应该考虑到零配件供应商也在进行同 样的研发工作。也就是说,欧宝汽车在中欧和德国的整个研发费用需要30至50亿欧元。"

为了降低汽车的成本,就必须让更多的汽车分摊 研发,生产和销售费用,因此欧宝汽车150万辆的年销售量是不够的。为此每年最少要销售 500万辆。这是菲亚特汽车公司想兼并欧宝的原因,同样也是美国通用不想放弃欧宝,以及麦格纳想通过欧宝扩大俄罗斯市场的原因,因为通用在俄罗斯市场的增 长率高达10%以上。

作者:Michael Braun/李京慧


2009年8月22日 星期六

The alternative to a sale of Opel would be insolvency

Auto Industry | 22.08.2009

Germany regrets GM's indecision regarding Opel

Germany's economics minister said on Saturday he regretted that General Motors' board had failed to take a decision on a deal covering its European operations, including ailing German unit Opel.

"I regret that the board has not after all taken a decision," Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was quoted as saying by the online edition of the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper on Saturday, Aug. 22.

GuttenbergBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Germany's Guttenberg is disappointed by the news coming from Detroit

The German government had "provided GM with all the necessary information," the minister added.

The 100-year-old company, once the world's largest automaker, is feeling the heat from the German government which wants it to sell Opel to Magna International, a Canadian auto parts manufacturer backed by state-owned Russian bank Sberbank.

But GM's newly-appointed board at a meeting on Friday in Detroit failed to support the Magna sale, backed by its executives, because of a rival bid from Belgian investor RHJ International.

"The GM board of directors met today to discuss options for Opel," GM spokeswoman Karin Kirchner said in a statement late on Friday. "No decision was taken."

An anonymous source familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal that board chair Edward Whitacre had argued that the offer from RHJ should be taken more seriously.

According to the source, GM's board opted to ask the German government for more information on state financing for a deal with RHJ.

GM itself emerged from bankruptcy in July after wiping out $47 billion (33 billion euros) in debt in a restructuring that left it majority-owned by the US government.

Setback for German government's plans

Frank Stronach, head of Magna International.Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Magna's Stronach has already agreed a deal with Opel

The news is a setback to the German government and Opel's 25,000 German employees, who were expecting Opel's life-saving sale to Magna to be confirmed at the GM board meeting. Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was quoted on Thursday as expecting "a clear signal" on the future of Opel to emerge at Friday's conference.

Magna's bid for Opel is backed by the German government, which has offered a financial incentive of $6.4 billion. But Germany set out tough financial requirements for GM, asking for help with dealing with Opel's possible deficit of $1.7 billion.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Thursday that Magna's experience in the auto industry and its "better concept" for Opel made it a superior buyer than RHJ. Facing elections next month, Merkel is convinced a deal with Magna would be the best option to save jobs.

Complicated deal

But it is precisely Magna's expertise that considerably complicates the deal for GM. Should GM approve a sale to Magna, keeping only a minority stake of 35 percent, it would lose most of its influence on Opel's production and distribution in Europe.

On top of this, Magna's bid also includes a 27.5-percent stake for the Russian state bank Sberbank, with Russian carmaker GAZ as an industrial partner holding the option to buy Sberbank's stake. GM's board fears that a deal with Magna would therefore create a serious competitor not only in the European automobile market, but the growing Russian market. A deal with Magna would also rule out the option of Opel's eventual re-absorption into GM.

The offer of financial investor RHJ is much friendlier. According to reports, RHJ would allow GM to keep control of the technological side of Opel, and to retain the possibility of re-acquiring its European subsidiary in a more secure future financial climate.

"If you want to know why the board is agonizing over this decision, take a look at the competing spheres of interest," summed up one commentator in news magazine Der Spiegel, "Either GM surrenders its access to Opel, or it loses the money from the German government. The question: which is costlier?"

European branches watch Opel saga with bated breath

Opel workers fear for their jobs.Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Opel workers fear for their jobs if a deal is not reached

The sale of Opel is being keenly watched, as billions of euros in government aid are riding on the outcome, as are the jobs of thousands of Opel workers in Europe.

Apart from its 25,000 German employees in four major plants, making everything from three-door Corsa subcompacts to Zafira vans, there are two key Opel factories that produce cars under the Vauxhall badge in the UK.

Opel has other facilities in Belgium, Poland and Spain.

No date has been set for another GM board meeting or a deadline for a decision. The alternative to a sale of Opel would be insolvency, analysts have said.


Editor: Toma Tasovac

2009年8月21日 星期五


德国经济 | 2009.08.20



继法国,英国,美国和日本之后,自称是世界环保冠军的德国也决定大规模发展所谓的电动汽车。对于这样一个宏伟的目标,社民党籍交通部长蒂芬 泽和联盟党经济部长古藤贝格都一致给予支持。古藤贝格说: "对于很多人来说,电动汽车是人们梦想中的没有尾气,没有噪音的交通工具。可以想象,未来大城 市使用了这种交通工具将会是什么样子。 "

德国交通部长蒂芬泽表示 : "100多年来我们的汽车一直使用燃油马达,始终依赖石油。现在我们迎来的下一个时代,那将是使用再生能源的电动车时代。 "

电 动车将面临激烈竞争。德国政府因此在国家行动计划中表示,将不会错过领先市场的机会。即将卸任的本届德国联邦政府承诺,将让德国成为电动汽车市场的领头 羊。联邦经济部长古藤贝格说: "从中期来看,电动汽车将明显提高个人的生活质量。但是目前还有很长的路要走。我们决定开始走这条路。我们的目标是,让德国成为电动车辆的主导市场。 " 宝马mini车型的电动汽车Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 宝马mini车型的电动汽车

联 邦政府支持发展电动车辆,并且为为期三年的刺激经济计划投资5亿欧元。 德国环境部最初的计划未能获得通过。即将卸任的联邦政府决定,从现在就开始为购买电动车辆者提供5千欧元的奖金。但是德国财政和经济部对这一计划表示反 对。德国交通俱乐部对鼓励购买电动汽车的做法表示反对,而是要求不论发动机种类对所有节能汽车提供财政奖励。

德国政府鼓励发展电动汽 车的国家行动计划所致力的目标是,在2020年之前,能够有1百万辆电动汽车投入使用。德国联邦政府希望能够在第一个步骤,也就是到2012年,德国的公 路上能够有10万辆电动汽车。到 2009年1月1日,德国为1452辆电动汽车发了牌照。此外,还有几百辆有些异国情调的最小型车没有被列入统计。

联邦交通部长蒂芬泽谈到了三个阶段: "第一阶段是通过我们的示范项目对所有电动汽车进行检查。从2012至2017年的第二阶段,主要任务是推动市场营销,争取在2017年达到相应的规模。 应该做到让驾车者买得起电动汽车。 "

电 动汽车国家行动计划的首要目标,是促进必要的基础设施项目的研究和建设。为落实这一计划,将为政界,工业界,学术界和消费者代表设置一个国家平台。 为了推动发展进程,使市场日趋成熟,目前正在讨论建立一个未来政府与工业界合作的权限中心。 此外,为新一代汽车还必须尽快确定基础设施。

作者:Gerhard Irmler/李京慧


2009年8月20日 星期四


德中/欧中 | 2009.08.20


成立于1983年的德国"退休专家服务组织"多年以来一直在全世界开展发展援助,中国是它重点援助的对象。多年来双方的合作堪称成功的典范。未来,德国" 退休专家服务组织"还将继续对中国进行发展援助,推动两国间的交流合作不断深入、向前。不久前,该组织被授予了"2009年度部门"奖项,颁奖仪式就在德 国之声会议厅举行。


顾名思义,同其他开展发展援助的机构不同,"退休专家服务组织"派遣的都是退休专家。他们曾是各行各业的能手,掌握先进的技术并拥有丰富的工作经 验,退休以后愿意继续发挥余热,于是希望通过"高级专家服务组织"将自己多年积累的经验传授给受援地区的人们。目前,"退休专家服务组织"一共有超过 8000名退休专家注册,曾担任波恩物理治疗研究所主治医师的乌尔苏拉·提门斯就是他们中的一员。她介绍说:"我2008年前往四川攀枝花进行援助,在当 地一家康复中心工作,介绍经验并提供建议,帮助治疗中风和患有膝关节疾病的人们尽快康复。"


退休专家服务组织的英语缩写Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 退休专家服务组织的英语缩写


“退休专家服务组织"的总经理苏珊娜·诺纳女士谈到在中国的业务时说:"我对中国的崛起并不担心,相反,德国因为一个经济上成功的中国而大大受益。 我们的专家写的报告显示双方的联系非常重要。我们同大众的关系很紧密,由大众牵头,我们从90年代起为中国的汽车配件商提供支持。这个项目一直持续至今。 今年我们依然要向中国输送曾在大众工作过的专家,向配件商传授德国的技术标准,这样双方都会受益。"


鉴于其在发展援助中的杰出贡献,"退休专家服务组织"被授予了"2009年度部门"的奖项。该奖项隶属于德国总统科勒发起的"德国--思想之国"的 竞赛活动,每年都颁发给在经济、环保、体育、科技、教育、文化和社会等领域提出先进思想理念的组织和个人。8月13日,颁奖仪式在德国之声的会议厅举行, 由来自德意志银行的代表弗兰茨·约瑟夫·康拉德向"退休专家服务组织"总经理诺纳女士颁发了荣誉证书。

在谈到此次获奖对"退休专家服务组织"的意义时,诺纳女士说道:"'退休专家服务组织'的贡献得到了社会各界的尊敬和嘉奖。这对我们的支持帮助是巨 大的,因为我们获得了承认。大家受到了勉励,决心继续出色完成任务。这对我们而言是继续前进的动力,我们知道,我们选择的道路是正确的。明年,我们将在全 世界--当然包括中国--继续我们的使命。"



2009年8月19日 星期三

微軟與諾基亞結盟 矛頭直指黑莓手機/中国太阳能工业后来居上

微軟與諾基亞結盟 矛頭直指黑莓手機

手機市場上的其它競爭對手都陷入更大困境之際﹐微軟(Microsoft Corp.)和諾基亞(Nokia Corp.)宣佈結成聯盟﹐以鞏固它們的地位。

這對往日的競爭對手達成的交易將向諾基亞的手機提供微軟的Office等軟件。它主要針對的是Research In Motion Ltd.憑借黑莓(BlackBerry)智能手機大獲成功的商務市場。

對微軟來說﹐這項交易是增加Office對商務人士吸引力的一個舉措。目前﹐谷歌(Google Inc.)和思科系統(Cisco Systems Inc.)等競爭對手的類似產品都在競相爭奪商務客戶。Office由Word、Excel等辦公軟件組成﹐是微軟一款利潤豐厚的產品。這項交易的財務條款沒有披露。

諾基亞一位管理人員在電話會議上直言不諱地表示﹐這項交易對黑莓製造商的威脅要超過蘋果公司(Apple Inc.)。蘋果生產的iPhone手機受到了消費者的追捧。

諾基亞設備部門執行副總裁Kai Oistama說﹐它給RIM帶來的挑戰將比其它公司更大。


市場研究機構Gartner Inc.的數據顯示﹐諾基亞仍是智能手機的主要供應商﹐但其市場份額一直在減少﹐今年第二季度該公司全球銷量所佔的市場份額已經從去年同期的47.4%下降至45%。



Gartner分析師杜蘭尼(Ken Dulaney)說﹐諾基亞目前正受到Symbian用戶界面過於過時的困擾。現在的用戶界面讓人覺得平淡乏味。


微軟表示﹐明年將為名為Office Communicator Mobile的現有產品推出一款諾基亞版本﹐該產品只通過一個號碼就能更容易地聯繫其他用戶﹐而無需主叫方撥打多個號碼聯繫他們。

微軟商業部門總裁埃洛普(Stephen Elop)表示﹐兩家公司還將在其它項目上合作﹐比如會議軟件可以讓諾基亞的手機用戶通過互動式幻燈片參加電話會議。






Nick Wingfield

德语媒体 | 2009.08.19



《德国金融时报》观察了这一新市场的激烈竞争:“尤其中国雄心勃勃,中国政府要使本国的太阳能行业进入世界领先地位,以亿万元的补贴支持这 一工业。中国厂家在现代化的大型工厂中生产晶体硅和硅薄膜太阳电池,按瑞联银行所说,生产成本明显低于德国竞争对手,平均低30%,所以能够以竞争价格扩 大市场份额。



无锡生产的太阳能设备Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 无锡生产的太阳能设备


"当这位持澳大利亚护照的中国人八年前在这个数百万人口的城市建立自己的高科技企业尚德公司时,他的朋友和投资者对建设中国第一家太阳电池工厂的计 划都感到无从做起。但市领导被他说服了并投资六百万美元建设工厂。施正荣学成回国不到十年就成了中国最富有、最有名的企业家之一,有八千名职工的尚德公司 去年的销售额为二十亿美元,是五年前的23倍。


而在他的故国,把太阳能转换为电力的太阳能模块几乎没有买主。中国的厂家依赖出口生存,90%以上的尚德产品出口国外。中国企业在世界市场占有的份 额多年来快速上升,三分之一的太阳能模块来自中国,而两年前是六分之一。分析家们有一个简单的解释:中国人提供同样质量的产品,但价格低廉多了。"





2009年8月18日 星期二


金門縣長李炷烽 遭求刑八年二個月

  • 2009-08-19
  • 中國時報
  • 【李金生/金門報導】








2009年8月17日 星期一

Reader's Digest To File For Bankruptcy Protection


The debt-strapped publisher of Reader's Digest magazine, one of the country's largest consumer magazines, has agreed to file for bankruptcy protection with its borrowings cut by 75%, as another failure emerged from the recent wave of media-industry buyouts.

The agreement will turn over control of Reader's Digest Association to the company's lenders. The lenders, led by J.P. Morgan Chase, also include GE Capital, Aries Management, Merrill Lynch, Eaton Vance, Regiment Capital and DK Partners.

Private-equity firm Ripplewood Holdings, which led a $1.6 billion buyout of Reader's Digest in 2007, will give up its stake, the company said. The bankruptcy filing is a blow to Ripplewood as its Belgian affiliate pursues a purchase of Opel, the German auto unit of General Motors Co.

Reader's Digest owns a stable of other magazines and media properties, including Every Day With Rachael Ray and cooking Web site AllRecipes.com. The flagship magazine's circulation has been sliding for years, and recently Reader's Digest said it planned to cut out even more of its circulation, which currently stands at more than 8 million, down 12% from a year ago.

Reader's Digest and its lenders have agreed that the company will file for bankruptcy protection in order to convert a 'substantial portion' of its $1.6 billion in secured debt to equity. Some of the lenders will provide a $150 million debtor-in-possession loan to carry Reader's Digest through the bankruptcy process and beyond, the company said Monday. All told, Reader's Digest said it expects its debt load will be cut to $550 million from $2.2 billion.

Reader's Digest didn't pay a $27 million interest payment due Monday. The company said it would use a 30-day grace period to continue discussions with its lenders and that it plans to file for bankruptcy protection no later than the end of the grace period. The company's operations outside the U.S. aren't expected to be part of the bankruptcy filing.

The debtor-in-possession loan is new money for the company, meaning none of its existing loans are being rolled into the facility. Interest on the DIP is 10% over the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, with a Libor floor of 3.5%, according to Standard & Poor's LCD unit. This means that under no circumstances will the lenders earn less than 13.5% annual interest.

Shira Ovide / Kerry Grace Benn

2009年 08月 18日 10:46


國發行量最大的雜志《讀者文摘》(Reader's Digest)的出版商債務纏身﹐已同意申請破產保護﹐

按 照協議﹐《讀者文摘》的控制權將移交給該公司的貸款方。其貸款方以摩根大通公司(JP Morgan Chase)為首﹐還包括通用金融(GE Capital)、Aries Management、美林公司(Merrill Lynch)、基金公司Eaton Vance、Regiment Capital和DK Partners。

私 募股權公司Ripplewood Holdings於2007年主導了以16億美元收購《讀者文摘》的行動﹐該公司稱將放棄其股權。Ripplewood的比利時分支試圖收購通用汽車 (General Motors Co.)旗下德國汽車子公司歐寶(Opel)﹐《讀者文摘》申請破產對其顯然是個打擊。

《讀者文摘》擁 有眾多其他雜志和媒體資產﹐包括食品生活類雜志Every Day With Rachael Ray和烹飪網站AllRecipes.com。其最重要的《讀者文摘》雜志的發行量多年來一直下滑﹐不久前《讀者文摘》表示計劃進一步縮減發行量﹐目前 為800多萬﹐較上年同期下降了12%。

《讀者文摘》與其貸款方已達成一致﹐該公司將申請破產保護﹐以將其16億美元擔保債務的一大部分 轉換為證券。《讀者文摘》週一表示﹐一些貸款方將提供1.5億美元的“債務人持有破產資產”(DIP)貸款﹐以幫助《讀者文摘》通過破產程序以及後續事 宜。《讀者文摘》表示﹐預計其負債總額將從22億美元縮減至5.5億美元。



Shira Ovide / Kerry Grace Benn

2009年8月11日 星期二



中時健康╱【中時健康 黃曼瑩/台北報導】 2009-08-11 10:40


台 大醫院遠距照護中心收案除了慢性病患與癌末安寧病患的照護外,並由醫療團隊篩選狹心症、心肌梗塞、心律不整、猝死、中風、經心導管或開心手術等心血管重症 為主要收案考量,因為此類病友曾經歷生死關頭,對於自身的健康照護有較深一層的體會。遠距醫療團隊24小時監控各項生理數據,病友如有疑問,也可以隨時詢 問個案管理師,讓出院病友回家後,還能獲得持續性的照護與諮詢,減少疾病復發或嚴重併發症。藉由遠距醫療的發展,醫療的提供 必須打破區域限制,發展到唾手可得、24小時無間隙的方便性,才是真正高品質的醫療服務,台大醫院的心血管疾病遠距醫療計劃涵蓋海外的生理訊號量測與監 測,目前在大陸的台商也能加入遠距照護醫療網絡,如此讓病友可以在大陸得到跟台北一樣持續性的醫療照護。

2009年8月8日 星期六

Staving Off a Spiral Toward Oblivion


Staving Off a Spiral Toward Oblivion

Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Va.

The largest sailing ship, the Thomas W. Lawson, in 1902. By that time, it was clear that steamships were the future of sea transportation.

Published: August 8, 2009

DRIVEN by the pressure to innovate, companies facing major technological change have wholeheartedly embraced management gurus’ advice on how to develop creative, breakthrough products. As a result, corporate America is flush with incubators, skunk works and innovation silos.

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The New York Times

Mechanical typesetter machines in the old composing room of The New York Times.

But has the pendulum swung too far? New technologies are obviously important, but even in today’s fast-paced environment, they can take a long time to substitute for the old. In the meantime, incremental innovation based on old technologies can help a company survive.

When Sony announced its Mavica electronic camera in 1981, headlines trumpeted that “Film Is Dead.” But it took 28 more years for Kodachrome, the film immortalized by Paul Simon, to finally die this past June.

E-book software by companies like Electronic Book Technologies was released in the early 1990s. Yet despite the recent buzz over the Kindle and other electronic reading devices, e-books are still less than 5 percent of overall book sales.

The reality is that most technologies eventually die. But unlike the ancient Greeks, who believed their destiny was controlled by the Fates, today’s managers need not assume that an old technology’s fate is predetermined. Companies can proactively manage the innovation endgame. Continuing improvements to extend the life of technology, particularly given the attractive margins on the old, can be a wise business decision — and not necessarily a reflection of narrow-mindedness.

The key is to extend the profitable life of the old just long enough to have a fighting chance in the new. But how?

Customers move at different speeds, so investments should be focused on market segments that most value the old. Criticisms of Kodak’s digital strategy abound, but one overlooked strength has been its ability to maintain its market position in segments like motion pictures, which, though small, are moving to digital more slowly.

History provides another illustration. Mechanical machines that used molten lead had dominated the typesetter industry for more than 60 years when photography-based machines were introduced in 1949. Along with many new entrants, the leading old-technology companies, Mergenthaler Linotype and Intertype, invested heavily in the new technology.

But the mechanical technology “was well known by the people who were using it,” Carl Schlesinger, a former typesetter operator for The New York Times and author of two books on the history of printing, said in a recent interview. The new technology required customers, particularly unionized newspapers, to make huge investments in retraining.

So throughout the 1950s and ’60s, Mergenthaler Linotype and Intertype continued to develop highly innovative mechanical machines, Herb Klepper, a lead engineer for Mergenthaler at the time, said in a recent interview. The speed of the old machines more than doubled, and newspapers kept using them. By 1978, when The Times retired its old mechanical machines, Mergenthaler Linotype was an established leader in the new technology, and Intertype, while not a leader, had survived to move on to yet the next generation of technology, digital typesetters.

Now, of course, newspapers are struggling to extend the life of print so they can develop new capability and business models for the Web and other forms of electronic distribution.

One mechanism for extending the life of the old is to borrow from the new. Daniel C. Snow, a Harvard Business School professor, says that the useful life of the carburetor was extended significantly by incorporating technology from electronic fuel-injection. Interestingly, he finds that only companies that were also developing electronic fuel-injection technology benefited.

The old can also create a bridge to the new through hybrid products that combine elements of each. Research on electric vehicles has been under way for many years, but a direct leap from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles has proved challenging.

“Hybrids were an easy way for carmakers to start this transition,” says Felix Kramer, founder of CalCars, a nonprofit organization. Because the required shift in behavior is minimal, many drivers have been willing to make the change. Later, as these drivers become accustomed to the electric-vehicle features of hybrids — the quiet ride, for example — they will presumably become more willing to acquire a purely electric vehicle.

“Once they started down that road, it pointed to the future of plug-in hybrids,” says Mr. Kramer, whose organization promotes the plug-in vehicles. While hybrids like the Toyota Prius use electricity as a supplement, plug-in hybrids go the next step and rely primarily on electricity, with gasoline as the secondary energy source.

“Because of plug-in hybrids, the supply chain and all the technologies will improve, so we gradually get batteries that are cheaper with longer range, and eventually we get all-electric vehicles,” he explains.

OF course, managers still need to know when to move on. When steamships began to compete with sailing ships for freight traffic, the sailing-ship producers responded with what the technology historian S. C. Gilfillan described in his 1935 book, “Inventing the Ship,” as a “noble flowering of the sailing ship.”

But the producers went too far. By 1902, with the building of the Thomas W. Lawson, the largest sailing ship ever, with seven masts and 25 sails, sailing technology had reached a point of diminishing returns, and the competition with steamships had already been lost.

Ultimately, it’s all about balance. The future of a company depends on success in the new. But the old needn’t be framed as simply as a “cash cow” or as a source of inertia holding back the company’s creative juices. Selective, intelligent innovation in the old may just hold the key to the future.

Mary Tripsas is an associate professor in the entrepreneurial management unit at the Harvard Business School.

Microsoft’s SharePoint Thrives in the Recession

August 7, 2009, 6:50 pm

Microsoft’s SharePoint Thrives in the Recession

Hang around at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters for five or ten minutes and someone dressed in khaki pants and a blue shirt is bound to tell you about the wonders of SharePoint — one of the company’s most successful and increasingly controversial lines of software.

Think of SharePoint as the jack-of-all-trades in the business software realm. Companies use it to create Web sites and then manage content for those sites. It can help workers collaborate on projects and documents. And it has a variety of corporate search and business intelligence tools too.

Microsoft wraps all of this software up into a package and sells the bundle at a reasonable price. In fact, the total cost of the bundle often comes in below what specialist companies would charge for a single application in, say, the business intelligence or corporate search fields.

It can’t do everything. Executives at Microsoft will readily admit that the bits and pieces of SharePoint lack the more sophisticated features found in products from specialist software makers.

“We don’t claim we do everything,” said Chris Capossela, a senior vice president at Microsoft. “If we do 50 percent of the functions that these other companies do, but they’re the ones customers really want, that’s fine. The magic is that end users actually like to use the software.”

This strategy seems to have worked even during the recession.

While Microsoft’s Windows sales fell for the first time in history this year, its SharePoint sales have gone up. Microsoft declines to break out the exact sales figures for the software but said that SharePoint broke the $1 billion revenue mark last year and continued to rise past that total this year, making it the hottest selling server-side product ever for the company.

Companies like Ferrari, Starbucks and Viacom have used SharePoint to create their public-facing Web sites and for various other tasks. All told, more than 17,000 customers use SharePoint.

In many ways, SharePoint mimics the strategy Microsoft took with Office by linking together numerous applications into a single unit. This approach appeals to customers looking to save money and also represents a real threat to a variety of business software makers.

Many of these specialists like Cognos, a business intelligence software maker, and Documentum, a content management software maker, have been gobbled up by larger players looking to create their own suites. I.B.M., for example, bought Cognos, while EMC bought Documentum. Other companies like Autonomy, a maker of top-of-the-line corporate search software, remain independent.

Crucially, Microsoft has found a way to create ties between SharePoint and its more traditional products like Office and Exchange. Companies can tweak Office documents through SharePoint and receive information like whether a worker is online or not through tools in Exchange. These links have Microsoft carrying along its old-line software as it builds a more Internet-focused software line.

“SharePoint is saving Microsoft’s Office business even as it paves the way for a new era of Microsoft lock-in,” said Matt Asay, an executive at Alfresco, which makes an open-source content management system. “It is simultaneously the most interesting and dangerous Microsoft technology, and has largely caught its competitors napping.”

Along these lines, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, has talked about SharePoint as the company’s next big operating system.

Microsoft has managed to undercut even the panoply of open-source companies playing in the business software market by giving away a free basic license to SharePoint if they already have Windows Server. “It’s a brilliant strategy that mimics open source in its viral, free distribution, but transcends open source in its ability to lock customers into a complete, not-free-at-all Microsoft stack - one for which they’ll pay more and more the deeper they get into SharePoint,” Mr. Asay said.

A number of smaller software companies have been eager to piggyback on SharePoint’s success. Based in San Diego, Sharepoint360 provides consulting services and software development help around the product. The company started after employees at a construction company built some Sharepoint applications and decided to market the software to other construction firms.

The start-up has helped construction companies create systems for managing projects, allowing various people to check-in on the progress of a building and keep track of documents tied to the site. It has also expanded beyond the construction area doing work for NASA, Nestle and Toshiba, according to Paul West, a co-founder of SharePoint360.

The company offers to host SharePoint applications for customers. Microsoft too wants to host more software for companies as it moves toward the cloud computing model.

Mr. West recognizes that Microsoft may begin stepping on its partners’ toes. “It may certainly come to pass that they pull the switch,” he said. “That would have implications for us.”

In the meantime, however, Microsoft subsidizes training courses and consulting work for companies like Sharepoint360.

Next year, Microsoft plans to release a new version of the software packed full of more advanced features, including stronger ties to the corporate search technology it acquired in the $1.2 billion purchase of Fast Search and Transfer, a Norwegian start-up.

Best Buy uses the Fast technology today to provide on-the-fly pricing information to customers performing product searches on its Web site.

By making these more sophisticated tools available to customers, Microsoft thinks it can keep pushing niche software makers out of the way and give business people, rather than just the tech folks, a way to work with business applications.

“We believe customers can turn off some of these point solutions,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, a general manager in Microsoft’s business software group. “With SharePoint, we can deliver a very, very approachable application to end users.”


2009年 08月 07日 07:25

四聯想集團(Lenovo Group)無人舉杯歡慶。








從這一點來看﹐聯想是一個極端的例子﹐代表了日本以外的亞洲市場愈發不合理的投資熱情。Macquarie Research稱﹐亞洲股市目前的預期本益比為14.8倍﹐往績本益比為20.1倍﹔這高於歐洲和美國市場的水平﹐也遠遠高出亞洲市場的歷史平均水平。

Macquarie Research的分析師估計﹐在如此高的本益比水平下﹐該地區投資者未來三個月中蒙受損失的可能性為60%﹐回報率超過10%的可能性只有16%。


Andrew Peaple

2009年8月4日 星期二




際商業機器公司(International Business Machines Corp.)週一在北京宣佈成立中國分析決策創新中心﹐


IBM全球企業咨詢服務部(Global Business Services)大中華區總經理Marc Chapman週一接受道瓊斯通訊社(Dow Jones Newswires)專訪時表示﹐該中心提供的諮詢服務與傳統諮詢服務大不相同﹐因為其中引入了調查研究、數學、以及極為繁重的統計和最優化工作﹐這需要較高的運算能力和複雜的軟件來完成。Chapman不願透露IBM對該中心的投資規模。





IBM上週同意以12億美元的價格收購數據分析軟件開發商SPSS Inc.









2009年8月3日 星期一



2009年 07月 31日 11:38







Sky Canaves/WSJ
通 鋼工人的怒火在中國媒體和專家中引起了廣泛討論﹐大家都在探討當企業的控制權易手時﹐企業的工人應被如何對待。中國冶金工業規劃研究院副院長李新創說﹐這 一事件敲響了必要的警鐘。他說﹐在通鋼事件之前﹐企業重組工作只考慮到了地方政府和企業的利益﹐但企業員工的利益應該得到更大關注。中國冶金工業規劃研究 院幫助起草了政府的鋼鐵產業政策。





中 國的鋼鐵企業職工人數眾多。上海寶鋼有10.8萬余名員工。而日本製鐵公司(Nippon Steel Corp.)的鋼產量雖然遠高於寶鋼﹐其員工人數卻只有1.7萬人左右。中國中央政府一直認為﹐那些由省和地方政府擁有的中小鋼鐵企業應為中國環境狀況惡 化、電力和其他寶貴資源的低效使用負一定責任﹐它們還將大量低質量產品推向了市場。


Luo Changping/Caijing Magazine
鋼 鐵行業對出口的依賴程度越來越大﹐導致與主要貿易伙伴間的摩擦不斷增多。今年4月﹐美國鋼鐵企業對中國鋼鐵廠提出了反傾銷訴訟﹐稱它們產品的定價低於成 本。本週﹐歐盟貿易官員批准對從中國進口的鋼管採取懲罰措施。與此同時﹐北京也對從美國和俄羅斯進口的鋼鐵展開了傾銷調查。


中央政府制定的鋼鐵業整合計劃遇到了擁有這些公司的地方政府的阻力﹐地方政府將這些鋼鐵廠視為稅收和就業的主要來源。花旗集團(Citigroup)駐香港分析師維格勒沃斯(Thomas Wrigglesworth)說﹐合併往往並不會帶來減產。


煉 鋼一直是中國發展的核心。毛澤東將鋼鐵業視為了把中國建設成作社會主義強國的重要組成部分。推動中國進入改革開放時代的前領導人鄧小平建立了寶鋼﹐這是他 推動中國經濟現代化的舉措之一。如今﹐寶鋼已是世界第5大鋼鐵生產商﹐客戶包括通用汽車公司(General Motors Co.)和中國的空間計劃。



通 化位於中國老工業基地的東北﹐10年前這一剛剛經歷了一輪動盪﹐當時的國有企業改制導致了數以百萬計的工人下崗。今天﹐這座城市仍帶有改革前的時代痕跡﹐ 當時國有企業為員工提供了各種福利。學校、醫院、體育館和電視台仍帶有通鋼的標識﹐儘管這些單位大多已不屬於通鋼。通鋼的主要煉鋼廠看得出它已經有51年 的歷史。

Sky Canaves/The Wall Street Journal

建 龍集團是由張志祥在10年前創立的﹐當時中國的鋼鐵業中還難得一見民營企業。41歲的張志祥出生於中國東部的浙江省﹐不到30歲時就開始從事鋼鐵貿易﹐他 的業務迅速擴大到中國十幾個城市。1999年﹐他在華北控制了他的第一家鋼鐵廠。據上海胡潤富人榜稱﹐如今﹐他的淨資產約為19.7億美元﹐成為資產超過 10億美元的七位鋼鐵巨頭之一。





對 工人們來說﹐建龍集團的介入也令他們感到失望。通鋼煉焦廠一位姓張的老工人(以下簡稱張師傅)表示﹐建龍集團承諾要帶來很多新設備﹐卻從來沒兌現過。這名 在通鋼工作了20多年的工人說﹐他們沒有投資生產﹐甚至沒有維護過以前就有的設備。張師傅介紹說﹐在建龍集團投資後﹐他們很快漲了工資﹐2006年他的工 資漲了一倍﹐達到了每月2000元(約合293美元)左右。但他接著說﹐加薪只是短暫的﹐後來他的工資又逐漸減少了。





隨 著通鋼扭虧為盈﹐張師傅和他工廠的同事每個月多了200元的獎金。張師傅說﹐他擔心如果建龍集團接管公司﹐可能會停發獎金。他說﹐更糟的是﹐有傳言說建龍 集團計劃辭退所有在通鋼工作了25年以上的老工人﹐從外面招募新員工替代。通化距離中朝邊境僅有35英里﹐這個偏僻的邊境城市基本沒有什麼其他就業機會。










2009/08/03 16:05:49


2009年 07月 31日 13:51

受首席執行長(CEO)替換風波及招致公眾強烈不滿的虧損影響的淡馬錫控股(Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd.)大膽提出了一些有關政府投資基金運營模式的新設想。




批評主要針對該基金2007年向巴克萊(Barclays)和美林(Merrill Lynch)注巨資的決定﹐而批評的確是合理的。

雖 然常常強調長期投資﹐但淡馬錫匆忙撤出這些投資使其遭受了巨額損失﹐並錯過了市場復甦時機。今年第一季度該基金拋售了所持美國銀行(Bank of America)股權﹐去年12月和今年1月拋售了巴克萊股權。今年1月底至今﹐巴克萊股價漲了兩倍﹐3月底至今美國銀行股價漲了近一倍。

而那些希望非業內人士Charles Goodyear接手淡馬錫從而給該基金帶來一些新氣象的人們上週失望了﹐因為該基金突然改變了想法。





Mohammed Hadi