Date: November 20, 2015
By: Tim Culpan
For a stark depiction of how Taiwan’s technology industry has been ravaged by the rise of the smartphone and the fall of the desktop computer, look at Asia’s stock market.
The nine worst performers in Morgan Stanley’s 106-member Asia-Pacific Infotech Index this year come from Taiwan, once the leader of computer innovation and a powerhouse in hardware and semiconductor manufacturing. The sagging companies include former PC giant Acer Inc. and its manufacturing spinoff Wistron Corp. — both are down by more than 40 percent — and smartphone maker HTC Corp., once the biggest seller in the U.S.
Those suppliers of ubiquitous electronics products from memory chips to flat-panel displays have lost about $24 billion in market capitalization so far this year, or about the equivalent of an HP Inc. By contrast, the top performers are all Japanese, led by automotive electronics maker Alps Electric Co. and games distributor Nexon Co.
“Being heavily exposed to PCs has been tough a place to be this year because of economic weakness in Asia, where the market had previously remained relatively robust,” said Anand Srinivasan, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. [FULL STORY]