Japanese tech conglomerate Toshiba has broken its silence on rumors of its impending sale, releasing an open letter [PDF] In which no decision has been made by the management to the shareholders.
The biz is considering offers to take it private after an investor group grew fed up with ongoing scandals that have damaged its performance and brand. In July 2022 it released a short list of potential buyers that included Bain, Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), Brookfield Asset Management and CVC Capital Partners.
Reuters recently reported JIP as the frontrunner with a $16 billion deal.
The Nikkei reported that JIP had added about $8.8 billion in debt to work.
Toshiba’s board, which has vowed to remain silent on the matter for months, responded that the company was “not in a position to confirm the veracity” of the aforementioned reports.
The letter said the management team has engaged with all potential partners and provided them with financial, legal, tax and regulatory disclosures, while a special committee overseeing the process met almost weekly.
“Although no assurances can be given about the conclusion of the contract with any of the potential partners, we plan to receive binding and genuine offer(s) and will work hard to conclude as soon as possible the necessary negotiations,” wrote representatives of the scandal-plagued Japanese giant.
The letter did not specify a timeline for the resolution, saying, “We promise you that, agreement or not, once the board reaches its final conclusions, the details will be announced to the public without delay.”
FTX said the Japanese and Singaporean ops could be sold as going concerns
The administrators of collapsed crypto exchange FTX have indicated that they want to put its Japanese and Singaporean operations up for sale, as they may be liquid and viable businesses.
The petition, filed last week in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, revealed that the initial work was to understand the broader operations of FTX, in the hope of returning funds to retail investors and customers. Clients whose money – more than $8 billion of it – disappeared into FTX’s labyrinth of secret and deeply unethical insider loans.
“Debtors believe that many of these entities have solvent balance sheets, independent management and valuable franchises,” the petition said, before naming FTX Japan and FTX Singapore among the assets that could be worth something if a buyer could be found.
FTX’s Singapore operations have yet to secure a license, but have been granted an exception to trade without one. FTX Japan on Saturday detailed ongoing efforts to restore its platform and promised to provide customers with a “detailed timeline and roadmap on when and how customers will be able to resume using the withdrawal and delivery service” by the end of the year.
That advice could set March 2023 as when the funds could flow, as the company has been suspended by Japanese authorities from operating until the 9th of that month.
– Simon Sharwood
Australia fines crypto exchange Binance for spamming…
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has fined crypto organization Binance AU$2,000,220 ($1.35 million) for sending more than 5.7 million commercial emails “that made it difficult for consumers to opt-out by requiring them to log into an account. not included.”
Twenty-five emails were sent without the consent of the recipients.
ACMA president Nerida O’Loughlin said the authority “contacted Binance Australia on several occasions for investigations that warned it may have had compliance issues and that it had failed to take adequate action”.
A crypto company without basic controls and mocked at a regulator? Where have we heard this before? Oh…they all appear at one moment or another.
Binance’s Australian arm has signed up to a three-year enforceable undertaking which means it must commit to an independent review of its e-marketing practices and the implementation of reforms. The company must train its staff and report to the ACMA under the arrangements.
– Simon Sharwood
Alibaba Cloud to offer blockchain nodes
Alibaba Cloud announced last week that it will launch Blockchain Nodes as a Service in the first quarter of 2023.
The platform will provide automatic failover to provide resiliency. Alibaba Cloud has also expanded its line of infrastructure technology and intelligence tools to the Avalanche Public blockchain (AVAX).
Doing so means users can launch authenticating nodes through the Node Service and access computing, storage and distribution resources through Alibaba Cloud’s suite of products in Asia.
China’s government strongly opposes cryptocurrencies, but promotes the use of blockchain. Alibaba’s move and its large footprint outside of China indicate that frontier blockchains, with nodes hosted in persistent cloud environments, are a possibility.
– Simon Sharwood
AWS Mainframe Modernization Comes to Asia
Amazon Web Services announced last week that its mainframe modernization service, which launched in June 2022 and provides tools to bring applications from the mainframe to the AWS cloud, is available in its three Asian regions.
The Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Singapore), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) regions all host the service, and possibly even have consulting experts on tap to help customers make it work. Infosys is one of AWS’s global partners that already provides services for the offering. AWS generally strives to grow a community of local partners that can provide services for its offerings.
India does not limit gaming time for children
India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology has said the nation has no plans to limit the amount of time young people are allowed to play video games, as has been implemented in China.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question, Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar acknowledged that exposure to content depicting violence had increased for Indians, and was aware of the risks, including addiction and subsequent financial loss to individuals. He added that the current rules place responsibility on intermediaries to avoid harm to children – India’s term for online platforms and carriers.
China implemented rules last August that restricted children under 18 from playing online games to just three hours each week, with a maximum of one hour a day.
Sony’s new sensor plant is reportedly coming to Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture
Sony is reportedly considering building a smartphone image sensor plant near Japan’s Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) facility in Kumamoto.
The plant will be operational by 2024.
The Japanese space agency JAXA licenses its logo
Registration Hardly a day goes by without someone wearing a dress emblazoned with the NASA logo. Now the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has licensed its logo and detailed plans to slap it on all kinds of kit.
Friday’s announcement explains that “JAXA LABEL COLLAB” will be licensed for use “primarily in products resulting from joint research.” Another brand, “JAXA LABEL TECH” will cover “products developed using JAXA’s patented technologies and techniques.”
“JAXA LABEL DESIGN” is reserved for merchandise developed using designs and materials on intellectual property held by JAXA.
“In the near future, you will be able to find a variety of items bearing the JAXA LABEL logo in stores near your home,” the announcement said.
– Simon Sharwood
In other news…
Our coverage of the region last week included the news that China has binned its COVID tracking app as it seeks to transition from a zero-COVID strategy.
Another new ban from Beijing bans the export of chips that use the domestically designed Lungsun architecture, according to Russian state-sponsored media.
Beijing has also launched campaigns to crack down on some of the most annoying things about smartphone apps — including copycat apps, pop-ups, bloatware and other annoyances.
China’s National Space Science Center has released six images of the Sun. The images were captured by the nation’s Advanced Space-Based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), aka Kuafu-1.
Citrix patched a critical ADC flaw that the NSA is already under attack from China.
The US added 36 Chinese companies, including YMTC, to its list of entities and removed 25 from its non-certificated list. Nine others were blacklisted for ties to Russia.
And the Cyberspace Administration of China issued guidelines on deepfakes that prohibit their creation without the subject’s permission or against the national interest.
Vietnam’s internet has been around 25 years since the country implemented a crackdown on online advertising that sees platforms such as YouTube and Facebook responsible for the content that drives their ad revenue.
Japanese start-up space’s HAKUTO-R mission 1 was launched into space on a Falcon 9.