Foxconn Gets Green Light From China’s Antitrust Regulator for Sharp Deal

Foxconn Gets Green Light From China's Antitrust Regulator for Sharp Deal

Taiwanese tech giant Hon Hai said antitrust authorities in China had approved its takeover of ailing Japanese electronics maker Sharp, clearing the last obstacle to the drawn-out deal.

The purchase, which was supposed to close last month, has reportedly been held up by China – one of the countries that was reviewing the deal over concerns that it could lead to a monopoly on LCD screens.

Hon Hai gains Sharp’s cutting-edge LCD panel technologywith the $3.5-billion buyout, giving it a 66 percent controlling stake.

“Our application for antitrust review in various regions is completed,” the company said in a statement to the Taiwan stock exchange late Thursday.

“Both sides will carry out the handover procedures as soon as possible according to the contract,” it said.

The announcement fulfills an ambition of Hon Hai founder Terry Gou, whose firm first pursued Sharpfour years ago.

Gou’s company – also known as Foxconn – is the world’s biggest electronics supplier, with Apple a key customer for smartphone components.

But the smartphone giant is squeezing its suppliers as sales of its iPhones slow, dropping 15 percent last quarter year-on-year.

Hon Hai shares slumped in Taipei Friday on weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings.

“From the results, we can see that Apple is pressuring its supply chain on prices,” Fubon analysts led by Arthur Liao said in a note.

Hon Hai said Thursday that its net profit dropped 31 percent to TWD 17.7 billion ($565 million) in the April-June period, the third straight quarterly decline.

It missed the TWD 24.6 billion estimate by analysts polled by Bloomberg News.

Shares slumped 3.69 percent Friday. underperforming the benchmark index.

Analysts are expecting better performance in the third quarter, when Apple’s new iPhone 7 series is rumoured to be launched.

Tags: Apple, Foxconn, Home Entertainment, Hon Hai, Laptops, Mobiles, PC, Sharp, Tablets, iPhones



14 Cause Related, Green and Company Charitable Gifts

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Gifts for clients, customers and employees need not be mere gestures to maintain a business relationship. You can add meaning to these gifts and build a reputation as a company that cares.

Consider these cause related, green and company charitable gifts and ideas for the ecologic and altruistic business owner. And communicate with colleagues and clients not only your appreciation for their business – but your values as a business.

1. Choose Eco-Friendly Coffee Cup Alternatives

Of course, any travel mug is potentially environmentally friendly if it stops you from carrying around disposable coffee cups at the office or on your morning commute. But some alternatives take things to the next level, actually duplicating the experience of a light and easy to handle disposable cup without the environmental issues.

Take “I Am Not a Paper Cup” from DCI Gift Inc. The porcelain cup with silicon lid has the look of a disposable cup (as opposed to a bulky plastic travel mug). Yet you can wash it when done and presto, it is ready for your next hot or cold beverage. And it’s also microwave safe.

2. Give Girl Scout or Boy Scout Products

Not only will your purchase go to supporting local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops. It will also bring a smile to anyone who receives it. Unfortunately these productscan be tricky to find. Ask around to see if any children of friends or co-workers are selling cookies or popcorn, and avoid common allergens like peanuts, just in case.

3. Run a Drive for a Local Shelter or Community Non-Profit

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Bringing people together to help others is a gift in itself, and planning a holiday drive or collection for a local shelter or other community non-profit is the perfect way to do just that. Get everyone into the spirit of giving by collecting donations of canned goods for food kitchens, supplies for pet shelters, or clothes and blankets for local homeless shelters. Everyone can take part in order to give back to their community.

4. Give Women’s Bean Gift Baskets

Since 1989, the Women’s Bean Project has been striving to empower unemployed and impoverished women. It is hoped with support these women will “develop the work and interpersonal skills needed to function independently in the workplace and community.” The organization offers fun gift baskets (with your own company logo, if you wish) and gift sets for nearly any occasion as well as jewelry, gourmet food, and beverages, through their online service.

5. Create a Memorable Experience

Instead of buying something that might end up in someone’s basement or guest room by the end of the week, giving the gift of an experience provides a unique alternative. Oh Happy Day has a list of 10 ideas for experience gifts, from hot air balloon rides to lecture tickets. And there are apps like Vayable that offer unique secrets to inside experiences in big cities.

6. Make Something by Hand

Whether it be a card, cookies, or a hand knit scarf, making something by hand provides a more personal alternative to a store bought holiday gift anyone else could have given. Sites like Pinterest are stuffed to the gills with home-made gift ideas. And you can customize your search with a few key words in the search bar to find just the right project.

7. Highlight Locally Made Wines

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Find a local vineyard and create a wine gift basket. This not only helps support other local businesses, but a bottle of wine is a quick and easily found gift idea when you need to grab something on the fly. Tie a bow around the neck and you’ve got a beautiful presentation. If you have the time, consider adding some home or local made goodies as well.

8. Offer Charity Gift Cards

Rather than simply donating money to a charity in someone’s name, consider a charity gift card instead, and let the recipient experience the rewards of donating to a charity of their choice. Offered by Tisbest, these work almost like regular gift cards. The difference is that instead of the recipient buying something for themselves with the card, they can use that money to donate to a cause through the Tisbest website. The cards themselves are 100% recycled plastic, and can be customized with your own photo and logo. A paperless email option is also available, or you can print the customized cards at home for a last minute gift fix.

9. Check Out These Organic Candles

company charitable gifts

These 100 percent beeswax candles from BsaB are about as eco-friendly as you can get. They feature biodegradable plastic, chemical-free pure cotton wicks, and more. The candles are long lasting, all natural, and even offer aromatherapy options. You can also get a refillable bamboo essential oil infuser or a glass candle packaged entirely from 100 percent plant materials.

10. Give the Gift of Recycled Golf Balls

Dixon offers many varieties of eco-friendly balls which are comprised of rock salt, rather than heavy metals. Four styles are featured: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Spirit. The latter is a pale pink color for the female golfer. The site also sells non-chemically treated bamboo and cotton blend clothing and accessories.

11. Give Green with Solar-Powered Battery Chargers

Companies like ReVIVE market solar powered batteries for phones and other electronic devices. They are unique and functional gifts and are surprisingly affordable. Available on the cheap for a wide variety of tech, they make a great gift for employees, colleagues, and clients alike.

12. Support Community with Local Foods

If you have a favorite bakery, why not pick up a few extra orders of cookies next time you stop by? Local food shops provide great last-minute gift ideas, from cookies to deli platters to locally made spirits. Or consider taking your employees out for lunch, dinner, or drinks at a local restaurant or bar this holiday. Websites like Independent We Stand can help you find restaurants and other businesses in your area. Or just use Google to search local eateries.

13. Give an Animal to a Family in Need

give a heifer

Heifer International has spent the last 70 years assisting those in need. Through their site, you can buy gifts for people who need them most. Animals like water buffalo, sheep, goats and heifers can be donated to families, small businesses can be launched, and clean water provided all with a few clicks. These donations benefit not only the individuals receiving them, but the entire community as more and more people are helped to self-sufficiency. Price ranges vary; donations can be made entirely by one contributor or shared among several.

14. Give the Gift of Trees

What’s better than a gift certificate to your employee’s, partner’s or client’s favorite restaurant? How about a certificate given for planting some trees to help save the planet? Groups like CarbonFund give you a unique opportunity to give a gift that also fights climate change. For example, donate $25 to plant 25 trees and CarbonFund will give you an eGift card from, redeemable at any participating eatery in the same amount. You can also donate $50 or $100 to plant more trees if you so choose.


Sheep Provide a Green Solution to City’s Landscaping Problem

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What do you do when you have a lot of lawn area and don’t want to waste the money or environmental resources it would take to mow it? If you’re part of the community development organization St. Clair Superior in Cleveland, sheep provide a green solution.

Yes, if you drive by the open industrial land along the shore of Lake Erie, you might see a group of more than 30 sheep (along with a protective llama) chomping away at the grass. These sheep provide a more environmentally responsible way to maintain the city’s green space. And it also costs much less than a landscaping crew — about $1,500 compared to $4,000.

Michael Fleming, executive director of St. Clair Superior told CNN:

“There’s a lot of empty land, and not a lot of money to take care of it.”

The sheep initiative is actually part of a larger effort by the city of Cleveland to improve its environmental practices in a specific sector each year.

In past years, the city has worked with other community organizations to improve things like access to healthy, sustainable food options. These initiatives haven’t always been profitable. The goal is more about sustainability and improving quality of life for residents. But that doesn’t mean the organizations aren’t looking for ways to become more profitable.

Fleming is currently working on finding ways to make more money from the sheep mowing initiative. Currently, he gets money from the landowners, who would otherwise have to pay landscaping companies. But there may be other opportunities on the horizon.

Fleming has considered selling the sheep’s wool and lanonlin, having them wear advertising jackets, or even offering the sheep to local restaurants interested in putting lamb chops on the menu. He told CNN:

“There are all sorts of uses. Some of them involve the untimely departure of the sheep, others do not.”


Parallel Revolution Creates Shirts that are Green and Stylish


A new brand has its sights set on a better way to make clothing. But, for a change, the focus seems to be as much on the way the clothes look and feel as on the environment.

Parallel Revolution is the brainchild of Jake Wade, a recent graduate of California State University, Chico’s entrepreneurship program. During his freshman year he co-founded the company. After half a dozen modifications and pivots, the brand finally found itself in the ‘Eco-USA-Craftsmanship’ niche.

Wade told Business Opportunities in a recent interview:

“We’ve completed a production run of what we believe to be the most sustainable shirt in the world, made in America. An ‘old’ tagline of ours is ‘Planet Earth’s Preferred Outfitter,’ which stems from our commitment in making things Earth can be proud of (or would ‘approve [of]’).”

Parallel Revolution markets eco-friendly hemp clothing sans the tie-dye hippie feel. Even the company’s packaging and tags are recyclable and reusable. Heck, the tags can even be planted to grow wildflowers.

All of the woven products are produced in the U.S. with some smaller items being produced overseas. The company says its approach supports the farmers who grow the materials for its textiles and their families. Parallel Revolution also says it invests two percent of each sale to benefit charity and nonprofit organizations.

Parallel Revolution’s products focus on letting the materials speak for themselves, Wade explains.  When it comes to his goals, he plans to “let handsome design do the selling and hemp’s natural properties deliver lasting satisfaction for the customer.”

In this video, Wade talks more about the benefits he hopes customers will see in the clothing line.

There are many reasons hemp makes great clothing, Wade says. The material is breathable, comfortable and durable. Wade even claims it contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties keeping you cleaner and fresher for longer. But Hemp is also stronger than cotton, polyester, and blends of the two thanks to its rugged fibers.

Even Parallel Revolution’s buttons are created from strong, eco-friendly materials. Each is crafted from a Tagua palm nut from the rain forests of Ecuador, Columbia, Peru and Southern Panama. Local workers collect the fallen nuts, which are later sold to a button manufacturer. There they are carved, finished, and sometimes dyed to meet specifications.

The idea is not only to use sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable materials, but also to take advantage of the crack and fade resistant properties the Tagua nuts offer.


Wheelys is a Low-Cost Green Business Model

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Having a physical location for your business can be both a big expense and a drain on resources. But some resourceful entrepreneurs have come up with a way to fit everything you need to run a small café into just a bicycle cart.

Wheelys Bicycle Café is the brainchild of The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NSID). The idea is to allow entrepreneurs to purchase their own Wheelys business that they can set up in different locations around the world.

Entrepreneurs can buy their own Wheelys franchise with an initial investment of $3,450. That includes the bicycle, equipment, and technology it takes to run a small mobile coffee shop.

The organization first ran an Indiegogo campaign over the summer, raising almost three times its original fundraising goal. And within a few months of its official launch, independent operators in 10 different countries had purchased about 30 of the Wheelys cart businesses.

And now NSID is working on a new version. Wheelys 2 is an electric version of the bicycle café that uses a battery pack and solar panels to power its many features. Currently, the campaign has raised just over a third of its $30,000 goal with more than a month remaining.

Mobile food carts aren’t exactly a brand new idea. But this one does offer an interesting all-inclusive model. The $3,450 buy-in is less than 1 percent of what it would cost to launch a Starbucks franchise, according to Wheelys’ Indiegogo page. And since coffee can be a high profit margin product with low overhead, owning a Wheelys business could be both lucrative and low-risk.

While the organization is already realizing some success with its base model, the Wheelys 2 offers an even more eco-friendly version. So it could appeal to the increasingly large group of socially conscious young entrepreneurs around the world.