Toyota had its roots in textile machinery but was anxious to diversify. In 1930, Platt Brothers of Oldham, at one time the world’s biggest manufacturer of textile machinery, handed over £100,000 in return for the patents to a pioneering automatic loom developed by the Japanese company. That money helped Toyota to lay the foundations to become the world’s biggest automobile manufacturer.
LG, the technology company, has predicted that 30 million people will buy 3D TV sets by 2012. Suddenly there is a huge new market, not just for 3D TV and cinema performances, but for the eyewear that makes appreciating it possible.
China has gotten away with pretty favourable trade terms for years, via a relatively more closed domestic market plus an under-valued yuan, but this time the US won't simply roll over. A nasty trade war will erupt, which will be economically disastrous for both sides.