News In Brief

Qwest communications international raised its unsolicited takeover offers for phone companies U S West and Frontier Corp. to about $35.6 billion and $12.3 billion, respectively, in a second attempt to outbid rival suitor Global Crossing Ltd. Qwest and Global Crossing, telecommunications newcomers building fiber-optic networks, both want to acquire U S West and Frontier to gain local telephone connections as well as wireless phone and data services.

A pillar of the economy that has brought double-digit growth to China for much of the past two decades is in serious trouble, an official business journal reported. The China Economic Times said roughly half of the country's 313,000 collectives - enterprises jointly owned by the state and private investors - are on the verge of bankruptcy. As an economic force, it said, the development stamina of collectives "is running out." As recently as 1997, collectives accounted for 40 percent of China's industrial output.

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