Japan preps high tech condoms for Olympics, Chinese consumers snub foreign brands: International round-up

Plus Toyota takes driverless cars off the road following fatal Uber crash and the EU cracks down on tech-giants in £4.4bn tax raid.

Japan to showcase high-tech condoms during Tokyo 2020

Japan’s condom manufacturers are prepping early amid belief the nation’s high-tech condoms will be in high demand during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The host nation says it sees the Olympics as a “golden opportunity” to showcase its record-breaking ultra-thin product and encourage safe sex among athletes. Japan says its ultra-thin condom is just 0.01mm thick and made of polyurethane – a material that is suitable for people with allergies to latex.

During the years hundreds of thousands of condoms have been distributed to Olympic athletes for free during the games.

“We see [the Tokyo Games] as an extremely precious opportunity to let the world know about Japan’s hi-technology,” senior manager and spokesman at Sagami Rubber Industries, Hiroshi Yamashita, says.

“It’s only Japanese companies that now manufacture condoms as thin as 0.01-0.02mm.”

READ MORE: Japan’s hi-tech condoms likely to be in demand at Tokyo Olympics as manufacturers sense marketing coup

Young Chinese consumers turn their backs on foreign brands

China’s young consumers are snubbing foreign brands, thanks to a surge in national pride.

A new report by Credit Suisse indicates that the previous belief that foreign brands are superior in China, no longer rings true for young Chinese consumers. For instance, more than 90% of millennial consumers in China aged between 18 and 29 say they would prefer to buy domestic home appliance brands in the next six to 12 months.

Young Chinese shoppers are also more likely to spend big on travel, leisure and goods that enhance their lifestyle.

Additionally, more than 85 per cent of the total number of consumers interviewed in the survey said they favour domestic over international.

“Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, don’t just believe the notion that foreign brands are better. Right now, Chinese consumers think China is good and ‘Made in China’ is not bad at all,” head of China consumer research at Credit Suisse, Charlie Chen, says.

READ MORE: China’s young consumers are snubbing foreign brands amid growing national pride

Toyota takes driverless cars off the road following fatal Uber crash

Toyota has removed its driverless cars from US roads and put further tests on hold following a fatal crash involving one of its Uber Technologies’ self-driving vehicles.

The accident, in which the car fatally struck a pedestrian, occurred in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday (18 March) and is said to be the first fatal incident involving a fully autonomous vehicle.

In response, the car manufacturer has halted tests in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

It is understood Toyota has a fleet of test vehicles that can drive themselves. However, engineers and safety drivers accompany the vehicle and can take control if needed.

A driver was inside the Uber vehicle when it struck and killed a passerby.

The company say it is now concerned about the “emotional effect” the incident may have on its test drivers.

Ford and General Motors are reportedly still performing tests of their self-driving cars on public roads.

READ MORE: Toyota takes self-driving cars off road after Uber accident

EU cracks down on tech giants in £4.4bn tax raid

The European Union has launched a £4.4bn tax crackdown on the world’s biggest technology firms including Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Any company with global revenues of more than €750m (£650m) and EU revenues of more than €50m (£43m) will be taxed at 3% of those revenues, meaning more than 120 companies will be affected.

The European Commission says it wants to “ensure a level playing for all businesses” as a response to criticism over the amount of tax tech giants pay in the EU.

“Our pre-internet rules do not allow our member states to tax digital companies operating in Europe when they have little or no physical presence here,” European commissioner Pierre Moscovici says.

He adds that this “represents an ever-bigger black hole for member states, because the tax base is being eroded”.

READ MORE: EU launches £4.4bn tax raid on tech giants

Aldi launches new instalment of Epic Reminder campaign

Aldi Australia has once again teamed up with BMF advertising for the latest installment of its Epic Reminder campaign which features a women with an upside down face and a man who keeps tripping over his tie.

In the first video, a woman has returned from holidays with her face turned upside down while in the second clip a man is seen tripping over his tie to deliberately choke himself.

The company’s long-running campaign is aimed at promoting the grocers’ twice-weekly selection of Aldi Special Buys.

It intends to show how customers go to extreme lengths to remind themselves when the supermarket’s items go on sale.

A previous advert showed an elderly man discussing how he lowered his door frame so that every time he walked into it, it would remind him of Aldi’s sale.

READ MORE: Woman has face surgically turned upside down in latest ‘epic reminder’ Aldi campaign



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