■ Free-trade ports established \n \nThe Executive Yuan yesterday granted status as free-trade ports to Keelung Harbor and Kaohsiung Port, which are expected to start operations in September this year and January next year respectively. Hsu Tsai-li (許財利), Keelung City mayor, said yesterday that Keelung's free-trade port will create over 2,400 jobs after it starts operating. Authorities at the two harbors estimated that the two ports will increase investment by NT$4.56 billion (US$138 million) and will increase production value by at least NT$1.9 billion annually. The Executive Yuan announced implementation of the Regulations Governing Applications for the Establishment of Free Ports (自由貿易港區申請設置辦法) in September last year. \n■ More Matsu flights urged \n \nMatsu authorities have urged the sole carrier flying between the outlying island and Taiwan proper to open routes to destinations in central and southern Taiwan as soon as possible. The authorities recently made a request to Taipei-based UNI Airways Corp (立榮) -- the sole carrier approved by the Civil Aeronautics Administration to operate routes between Matsu and Taiwan -- to open Matsu-Taichung and Matsu-Kaohsuing routes by April 1. UNI Airways Chairman Cheng Kuang-yung (鄭光遠) made a promise during a November visit to Matsu that the two routes would open by the middle of last month, but so far nothing has happened. According to Matsu authorities, the postponement of the two routes has caused discontent and misunderstanding among Matsu's people and among many businesspeople based in China, who have long hoped for the routes to be established, especially since direct trade and transport services were set up in January 2001. \n■ 43 companies approved for park \n \nOfficials with the Central Taiwan Science Park Administration said yesterday that 43 companies have been approved to set up shop in the first phase of the park's operations, with a total investment amount of NT$428.1 billion. Since the park is not yet big enough to accommodate the more than 300 applicants, the Taichung County government has mapped out a second phase of the park to be built in a neighboring area. AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the first enterprise to enroll, has already gone ahead with setting up facilities and estimates that it will begin mass production at the end this year. \n■ Wan Hai denies reports \n \nWan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運), Taiwan's third-biggest shipping concern by market value, denied a newspaper report that the company may buy a stake in China Airlines (華航), the nation's largest air carrier, saying it is focused on marine transportation. A Chinese-language newspaper reported over the weekend that the government may sell a 30-percent stake in China Airlines to Wan Hai. "We don't own any shares in China Airlines, and we have never discussed buying into China Airlines," Wan Hai senior vice president Jason Lee (李炫宏) said. "We are focused on marine shipping," Lee said. State-run China Aviation Development Foundation (航發會) holds a 71-percent stake in China Airlines. No companies have approached the foundation about buying the stake to date. \n■ NT dollar drops \n \nIn line with a weak yen, the New Taiwan dollar yesterday traded lower against its US counterpart on the Taipei foreign exchange market. The local currency dropped NT$0.002 to close at NT$33.403, with a turnover of US$516 million.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to