Business and Finance

HTC remains in red in Q3 but gross margin improves

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/13
By: Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang 

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. remained in the red in the third quarter but its profit margin improved for the third consecutive quarter.

HTC posted a net loss of NT$2.62 billion (US$84.79 million) and loss per share of NT$3.18 in the quarter, both worse than the NT$2.09 billion in net loss and NT$2.53 in loss per share seen a quarter earlier, the company said in a statement Monday.

Despite the continued losses, HTC said its gross margin, — which reflects the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold — rose to 4.7 percent in the July-September period from 2.7 percent a quarter earlier because of better controls on costs and stable sales of its virtual reality products.    [FULL  STORY]

Asustek cites trade tensions, supply woes

GLOOMY OUTLOOK: CEO Jerry Shen said US tariffs on Chinese-made goods would have a significant impact and microprocessor shortages would continue into Q2

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 14, 2018
By: Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday said escalating US-China trade tensions and a supply crunch for Intel Corp’s microprocessors continues to weigh on its operations this quarter and would continue to do so.

The computer maker reported a 43 percent annual decline in net profits for last quarter totaling NT$3.34 billion (US$108.08 million), compared with NT$5.84 billion for the same period last year.

Gross margin fell to 11.7 percent from 14.4 percent last year.

An improvement in foreign- exchange losses helped Asustek notch quarterly growth of 1.5 times from NT$1.33 billion.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan researcher urges optimism as AI changes human labor and industry in years ahead

The trend is unavoidable, and will spur job creation in the long term, says ITRI analyst Huang Hsiao-Wen

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/11/13
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An analyst with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Huang Yi-Wen (黃筱雯), discussed the potential impact of artificial intelligence on the human work force in the coming decades at the IEK industrial Innovation seminar in Taipei on Nov. 13.

At a yearly conference hosted by the ITRI Industrial Economic and Knowledge Center (IEK工研院), Huang, addressing academics and engineers, stated that in the long term, with the development of AI and the Internet of Things, AI will eventually find its way into all aspects of human life.

Huang also claims that despite the significant impact this will have on human labor, that there is a bright side of the developments to look forward to.

Even though many jobs will be replaced by automated labor driven by AI and deep machine learning, an entire new field of jobs will also be opened to humans, specifically jobs opportunities in the digital sphere.

Hynix forecast to overtake TSMC as No. 3 global IC supplier

Focus Taiwan International
Date: 2018/11/13
By: Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang 

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) South Korean dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. will soon become the third largest integrated circuit supplier in the world, replacing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), according market advisory firm IC Insights Inc.

In a research report posted on its website on Monday, IC Insights said Hynix is expected to post US$37.73 billion in sales for 2018, an annual increase of 41 percent.

That figure will move Hynix up on spot to third place among global IC suppliers, displacing TSMC, said the California-based market advisory firm.

Hynix’s 2018 sales growth is also expected to be the strongest among the world’s IC suppliers, IC Insights said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan to showcase self-driving tech at 2018 Uber Open Summit

Three Taiwanese professors will attend the event representing the AI Research Center under the Ministry of Science and Education

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/11/12
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Image from 2018 Uber Open Summit website)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced on Nov. 12 that Taiwan’s AI Research Center will join the 2018 Uber Open Summit in California, with an aim to stimulate research and development in the country’s transportation technology sector, reports Liberty Times.

Three professors representing under MOST, announced that the center will be showcasing some of its self-driving technology at the upcoming 2018 Uber Open Summit on Nov. 15, happening in San Francisco.

In addition to showcasing their technology and talent, Taiwan’s AI research center will have an opportunity to network with some of the most promising start-ups and talented individuals in the field of self-driving technology, and possibly attract some to develop their expertise or business in Taiwan.

Facilitating cooperation between Uber and MOST is Brian Hseih (謝坤員), the leader of Uber’s open source program.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan regular wages up over 2% on average for 10th straight month

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/12
By: Chiu Po-sheng and Frances Huang

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) The average regular wage in Taiwan rose 2.48

CNA file photo

percent from a year earlier in September, marking the 10th consecutive month of a year-on-year increase on the back of an economic recovery, according to government statistics released Monday.

Data compiled by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) showed that the average regular wage for September rose 2.48 percent year-on-year to NT$41,110 (US$1,335).

The growth in September followed a 2.95 percent year-on-year increase in August, the data shows.

In September, the average earned income, which includes regular salary plus bonuses, overtime pay and other irregular income, also grew 3.85 percent from a year earlier to NT$47,577, the DGBAS said.

Inventec might move assembly business

‘CONCERNED’: The firm expects 10 percent of its revenue to be affected by US tariffs, but the ratio could have risen to 90 percent if Apple was not exempted from US policy

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 13, 2018
By: Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Inventec Corp (英業達) yesterday said it plans to cope with the intensifying US-China trade war by shifting its labor-intensive module assembling business to factories in Taiwan, Malaysia or Mexico to avoid US tariffs on Chinese imports.

The trade war is the biggest risk facing the electronics industry this year, undermining capacity expansion plans in Shanghai and other cities in China, Inventec said.

“The company expects 10 percent of its revenue to be be affected by the US$250 billion tariff list,” Inventec Appliance Corp (IAC, 英華達) chief executive officer David Ho (何代水) told an investors’ teleconference.

IAC, a smart device manufacturing arm of Inventec, supplies AirPod earbuds for Apple Inc.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese company Foxconn may face obstacles in Wisconsin under new Governor

Democrat Governor-elect Tony Evers heavily criticized incumbent Scott Walker for Foxconn deal during his campaign 

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/11/12
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After the recent U.S. elections, the new

Wisconsin Democrat Governor-elect Tony Evers (By Associated Press)

Governor of Wisconsin, a Democrat, may have set his sights on undermining the state’s agreement with the Foxconn Corporation.

In the days since Tony Evers defeated incumbent  Republican Governor Scott Walker, Evers has stated plainly that he hopes to scrap the quasi-private, state-funded agency that was responsible for negotiating the deal with Foxconn, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Lawmakers and media outlets in Wisconsin are already speculating about what appears to be an inevitable legal battle on the horizon concerning the WEDC, and what potential damage might be caused to the Foxconn agreement.

However, local media outlets indicate that the WEDC cannot be scrapped simply by order of the governor, which means the state legislature must be involved in any changes involving the WEDC.    [FULL  STORY]

Domestic fuel prices to drop for fourth straight week

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/11
By: Tsai Peng-min and Evelyn Kao

Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) Fuel prices in Taiwan will fall for the fourth

CNA file photo

consecutive week in response to a drop in international crude oil prices last week, the country’s two major suppliers said Sunday.

The price of gasoline and diesel will be lowered by NT$0.7 (US$0.023) and NT$0.8 per liter, respectively, starting at midnight Sunday, state-owned refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan said.

After the drop, the biggest this year, prices at CPC gas stations nationwide will be NT$28.5 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$30.0 per liter for 95 unleaded, and NT$32.0 per liter for 98 unleaded, while super diesel will be NT$26.5 per liter.

Meanwhile, privately owned Formosa Petrochemical announced identical price cuts, with effect from 1 a.m. Monday, which means prices at its gas stations will be NT$28.5 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$29.9 per liter for 95 unleaded, NT$32.0 per liter for 98 unleaded and NT$26.2 per liter for super diesel.    [FULL  STORY]

FPG touts bonuses, profit to September

Q4 DOWNTURN? Capital Investment said that ethylene capacity in the US might affect downstream prices in Asia, which, among other factors, could bring net profit down

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 12, 2018
By: Staff writer, with CNA

Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial conglomerate, is likely to give employees year-end bonuses equivalent to six months’ salary, FPG chairman William Wong (王文淵) said on Saturday.

As FPG’s bottom line was good in the first three quarters, the group might maintain its policy for Lunar New Year bonuses, Wong said.

In addition, FPG would be giving out red envelopes to employees to express its gratitude for their hard work, he said.

“The amount of cash in the red envelopes has not yet been decided,” Wong said at the group’s annual sports day.    [FULL  STORY]