PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 12:00am


Declining profits pose a threat to the survival of the mainland's DVD player manufacturers, estimated at more than 500, according to market researcher iSuppli. In the first five months, Guangdong province-based manufacturers exported 34.5 million machines, accounting for 84.2 per cent of the nation's total. However, the average export price was US$40.80 per machine, on which makers earned a profit of just $1. About 30 DVD player manufacturers went bankrupt in the first half. Analyst Byron Wu noted many manufacturers lacked core technology and competed solely on price. With so many firms in the sector, it was difficult for any single company to accrue enough profits that could be ploughed back into research and development. A thinning of the herd was in order. Mr Wu said: 'The best scenario for the DVD player sector is an acceleration of the consolidation process, with larger firms taking over the smaller shops that employ skilled workers.'

First Chinese novel in short message chapters

A Beijing-based carrier has bought the first Chinese novel (about an extramarital affair) written for the mobile phone, according to a mainland media report. The novel, Outside The Fortress Besieged, sold for 180,000 yuan. The book has 60 chapters, each just 70 characters long. In addition to receiving the book in chapters via short message, readers will be able to download the novel over the internet. An audio version is available.