As the year ends, we’ve listed the 10 most-read Asia stories of 2017 to give a snapshot of the issues that mattered most in the region.
1. Bangladesh digitally maps supply chain
Organisations in the Bangladesh garment industry collaborated to create a publically available digital map to bring transparency through the supply chain, stop labour abuses and improve working conditions after a deadly blast at a garment factory killed 13 people.
2. Kobe Steel falsifies data
Japan’s third biggest steel maker announced some of its aluminium and copper products supplied to around 200 car, train and plane manufacturers were falsely labelled as meeting specifications requested by customers. The fallout eventually engulfed Mitsubishi and Toray.
3. Twinings set out plans to improve lives in the global tea supply chain
The British tea brand launched its Community in Needs Assessment scheme to identify human rights risks and community needs in the supply chain and work with NGOs and local government to drive improvements at grassroots level.
4. Singapore tops world port ranking
Menon Economics’ report named Singapore as the leading maritime city in the world after benchmarking 15 leading maritime cities in terms of shipping, finance, law, technology and ports and logistics services.
5. Sushi chain merger driven by procurement
Higher procurement costs pushed two of Japan’s largest sushi conveyor belt restaurant chains Akindo Sshiro and Genki Sushi to merge, citing “winning ingredient procurement” as the key to tackling rising costs of fish.
6. Apple’s China challenge
Faced with slumping sales in China, tech giant Apple hired a new managing director for their Greater China business in Shanghai to turn things around. Isabel Ge Mahe is now in charge of a market that has the greatest potential for Apple.
7. John Lewis and Habitat pull worktops over slavery links
The retailers removed certain granite worktops from their collections after an investigation by India Committee of Netherlands found evidence of modern slavery in their Indian supply chains.
8. Worlds first freight train ran from China to UK
The train carrying household items, garments, textiles, bags and suitcases took around 18 days to travel more than 12,000km on the reintroduced historic Silk Road trade route.
9. Nikon closes camera factory due to rise of smartphones
The Japanese manufacturer’s board of directors announced it would shut down its digital camera factory in China due to declining demand caused by the rise of smartphones with inbuilt cameras.
10. Korean conflict threatens global tech supply chain
Analysts warned that the high-tech supply chain could take years to recover from the conflict on the Korean peninsular if hundreds of production sites, relied upon by thousands of high-tech suppliers, were taken offline.
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