Daily Media Briefing 19th August

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Consumers, Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Environment

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August 19, 2013

Corporate Reputation

JP Morgan faces US probe over alleged hiring of children of Chinese officials to win business

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into whether the US bank JP Morgan Chase hired the children of prominent Chinese Government officials to help the firm win business in Hong Kong and China.  The investigation reportedly includes an enquiry into JP Morgan’s employment of the daughter of a Chinese railway official when The China Railway Group, a state-controlled construction company that builds railways for the Chinese government, was in the process of selecting JPMorgan to advise on its plans to become a public company. With JPMorgan’s assistance, China Railway raised more than $5 billion when it went public in 2007.  JP Morgan said that the bank was fully cooperating with the SEC. (The Guardian; New York Times)


US telecommunications industry lobbies to relax consumer privacy rules

The US cable and telecommunications companies, Comcast and Verizon, are lobbying Congress for a relaxation of consumer privacy rules in the US that could allow them to sell information about their customers’ telephone use.  Proponents of the shift said that the removal of authority from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would simplify a regulatory structure which had not kept pace with the changing media landscape.  Traditional media companies in the US currently face more restrictions than their new media rivals, even though the services they offer are becoming increasingly similar.  However the Centre for Digital Democracy, the US consumer advocacy organisation, said that the move was a “power grab” and a ploy by the companies to end privacy oversight by the FCC, which currently limits the nature of consumer information that companies can sell. (Financial Times*)


CleanTech One officially opens as Singapore’s first eco business park

The Singapore industrial estates developer JTC Corporation has opened the country’s first green business park, CleanTech One. The green ‘complex within a complex’ is part of an effort between JTC Corporation and the Singapore Government to position Singapore as “the Asian epicentre” for developing green technology solutions.  Professor Ng Wun Jern, from Nanyang Technological University, who is also the executive director of the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), said that “having like-minded professionals from academia and businesses under the same roof at CleanTech One is an invaluable opportunity for fruitful collaborative exchanges. These exchanges help to ensure that our pursuit of green solutions stays industry-relevant and practical.” To date, 22 organisations have signed up as tenants, including the Danish water firm DHI Water and Environment, the Chinese firm Sinomem Technology, the Norwegian semiconductor company Advantec and the Japanese carbon fibre producer Toray Industries. (Eco Business)


Vodafone questioned as UK Government supplier after multimillion pound tax deal revealed

It has emerged that the UK telecommunications company Vodafone made a previously unreported multimillion pound settlement with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) following a dispute over the tax paid by an Irish subsidiary, which was created in 2002 to collect hundreds of millions of pounds in royalty payments from operating companies and international joint ventures.  The disclosure comes as UK MPs revealed that Vodafone is the largest supplier of mobile phones to the UK Government, which has signed contracts worth £14 million a year with the company.  In a move against tax avoidance, ministers updated UK laws in April 2013 to ensure that companies whose tax returns have been challenged by HMRC on grounds of tax abuse can be disqualified from working for the UK Government. (The Guardian)

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