Business and Finance

Taiwan’s Chiayi County tackles overpopulation of African sacred ibises

A private firm set up nets and removed eggs from a nesting area

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/15 
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

New aerial photos show the African sacred ibis has almost disappeared from the nesting area in Chiayi County. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A nesting area of the African sacred ibises has been removed in Chiayi County after fears it would affect the native bird population, reports said Friday.

Earlier this month, aerial photos revealed that as many as 2,000 of the birds were nesting in the southern county’s Dongshi District, posing a threat to local birds.

The Forestry Bureau asked a private contractor to start a campaign against the ibises by setting up nets and removing the eggs from the area, the Central News Agency reported.

Recent estimates put the total sacred ibis population in Taiwan at up to 10,000, raising fears that they will compete with local species such as little egrets and cattle egrets for space and resources. The African sacred ibis has been known to eat the eggs and even the young of other birds.    [FULL  STORY]

HTC swings to profit in 2018 after disposing assets in Q1

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/15
By: Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang 

Taipei, March 15 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. posted a net profit in 2018 after it disposed of its smartphone ODM assets to Google in the first quarter of that year to boost its bottom line, according the results released on Friday.

In a statement, HTC said it registered NT$12 billion (US$388 million) in net profit in 2018, compared with a net loss of NT$16.91 billion in 2017, stopping a three-year losing streak. Its earnings per share for 2018 stood at NT$14.72, compared with NT$20.58 in loss per share in the previous year.

The 2018 net profit was achieved even though HTC’s consolidated sales fell to NT$23.74 billion, down 61.78 percent from the previous year, the seventh consecutive year of decline amid escalating competition in the global smartphone market’s high-end and mid-range segments.

While HTC has entered the global virtual reality market by unveiling its first VR headset — the HTC Vice — in 2015 and its follow-up models subsequently, such as the HTC Focus, such efforts have failed to boost its sales and bottom line.    [FULL  STORY]

Central bank likely to extend monetary policy: ANZ

EXTERNAL INFLUENCES: The US and China’s trade spat and plateauing smartphone sales pose challenges to Taiwan’s trade and growth outlook, the banking group said

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 16, 2019
By: Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

A subdued growth outlook, muted inflation and weak external demand are likely to prompt the central bank to extend its accommodative monetary policy and keep the rediscount rate unchanged at 1.375 percent next week, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) said yesterday.

The board of the nation’s top monetary policymaker is due to meet on Thursday to review policy rates. The central bank has stayed put for the past 10 quarters, citing negative output gaps and mild inflation.

The US-China trade conflict and the downside risks it poses to the Taiwanese economy would keep local policymakers concerned, ANZ said in a note.

“We expect the policy rate to hold steady through this year, barring an unexpected hawkish outlook by the US Federal Reserve or a sharp jump in domestic inflation,” ANZ said.    [FULL  STORY]

2019 SCSE in Taipei highlights smart healthcare, education, building, and transportation

Taiwan News .   
Date: 2019/03/14 
By: George Liao,Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2019 Smart City Summit & Expo (SCSE), which includes four sub-expos, will take place at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center from March 26 to March 29.

SCSE will gather 337 exhibitors from around the world this year, exhibiting a diversity of smart applications and solutions, according to the Taipei Computer Association (TCA), the event’s organizer.

The four professional sub-expos: Smart Healthcare Expo (SHE Taipei), Smart Education Expo, Intelligent Building Expo (IBE Taipei), and Intelligent Transportation Expo will respectively present smart solutions in healthcare, education, intelligent building, and transportation.

In addition, 276 city leaders and delegates from 42 countries and territories will gather in Taipei to exchange their experience in smart city development and brainstorm innovative applications and solutions, the association added.    [FULL  STORY]

Two e-commerce companies in Taiwan, Japan form alliance

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/14
By: Jeffrey Wu and Evelyn Kao

Taipei, March 14 (CNA) Two e-commerce entities — PChome Online Inc. of Taiwan and

PChome Online Chairman Jan Hung-tze (left) and Rakuten Asia CEO Hiroshi Takasawa (right)

Rakuten Inc. of Japan — signed an agreement Thursday to strengthen exchanges between their members and provide joint services and content, with the aim of building customer loyalty.

Through the strategic alliance between the two e-commerce platforms, their members will be allowed to accumulate and exchange PChome’s P-coins and Rakuten points for online transactions in both countries, according to a statement issued Thursday by the two companies.

Under the deal, consumers in Taiwan will be able to shop for Rakuten products on PChome’s C2C marketplace ruten.com and have their purchases sent directly to them.

Meanwhile, special offers for Taiwan Rakuten Card holders will be promoted on PChome shopping sites, while PChome will sell Rakuten’s Kobo e-readers on its PChome 24h site, which guarantees a 24-hour delivery service.    [FULL  STORY]

Pegatron profit falls on cost increases

SALES SLUMP: The iPhone assembler expects revenue to drop sharply this quarter as the electronics sector enters its slack season and given a high base last quarter

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 15, 2019
By: Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Pegatron Corp (和碩), one of Apple Inc’s iPhone assemblers, yesterday said that net profit for last quarter shrank 12.2 percent annually as higher manufacturing costs for the new iPhone XR squeezed margins.

Net profit slumped to NT$3.27 billion (US$105.82 million) in the quarter that ended on Dec. 31 last year, from NT$3.73 billion three months earlier.

Earnings per share (EPS) dropped to NT$1.25 from NT$1.42.

Gross margin slid to 2.6 percent last quarter, hitting the lowest level since the final quarter of 2015, the company said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan electric scooter firm Gogoro releases new Gogoro 2 variant: the Rumbler

The Rumbler is targeted at 18-30 year olds

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/03/13
By: Duncan Deaeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Gogoro 2 Rumbler

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s fastest growing electric scooter start-up Gogoro announced the release of a new model scooter on Wednesday, March 13, the Gogoro 2 Rumbler.

The Rumbler’s new style, which is a variant of the Gogoro 2 model released in 2018, was designed to attract 18 to 30 year olds with a sleek, and more mature design compared to the original Gogoro 2 model.

The Rumbler model has tires designed for slightly more traction, and new design of seat cushion to maximize comfort and weight distribution of the rider.

The new model shares he same engine, SBS brake system, headlights, and smart dashboard and personal security features as the Gogoro 2.

According to Liberty Times, the Gogoro 2 Rumbler is priced at NT$86,000 (US$2,800) dollars and can be delivered from the factory in three to five days.    [FULL  STORY]  

Taiwan will not bid to host 2020 Central American bank meeting: MOF

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/13
By: Joseph Yeh

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Wednesday that Taiwan will not apply to host a major meeting of a Central American regional bank next year, as it wishes abide by the bank’s traditions.

It is customary for a new member of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to host the annual meeting and since South Korea is expected to join later this year, it is likely to seek to host the 60th annual board meeting in 2020, the ministry said.

According to MOF, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been a member to the CABEI since 1992 and hosted the board meeting in 1995.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan courts bank to counter China

OBSTRUCTIONISM: China is lobbying its allies in Central America to block any bid by Taiwan to host the Central American Bank for Economic Integration meeting

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 14, 2019
By: Bloomberg

Taiwan is studying a bid to host a top meeting of Central America’s main regional bank, people with knowledge of the matter said, in its latest effort to break China’s diplomatic squeeze.

The nation is considering applying to host the 60th annual board meeting of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details have not been made public.

The bank is one of the few international organizations of which Taiwan is a full member under its official name, the Republic of China.

The lender is scheduled to decide on the host for next year at its board meeting in Argentina next month.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Foxconn slams Microsoft over patent dispute

The software giant should be suing Google instead: Gou

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/03/12 
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Foxconn Technology Group chief Terry Gou (郭台銘) on Tuesday

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou (first left) slams Microsoft. (By Central News Agency)

slammed Microsoft Inc., accusing it of wanting to prolong the personal computer era and of targeting suppliers instead of Google.

On Monday, the Seattle-based software giant sued Foxconn in California for unpaid patent royalties and for failing to file the appropriate paperwork. Under an agreement signed in 2013, Foxconn was supposed to file regular reports to Microsoft about the sales of any products covered by the agreement as well as pay relevant royalties, CNet reported.

On his Facebook page and later at a news conference, Gou said Microsoft was stuck in a dispute about patents with Google, but instead of suing the Internet giant, it was taking it out on subcontractors and brands, behaving like a bully, the Central News Agency reported.

Even though the world had entered the smartphone era, Microsoft was still behaving like a monopoly from the PC era and trying to extend its empire from the period of its founder Bill Gates, Gou said.    [FULL  STORY]