■ Broadband access ranks high
In a study that measures broadband Internet services' accessibility and price, Taiwan ranks among the top 10 countries in the world in both categories, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). A report released Thursday by the ITU points out that in the category of broadband accessibility, Taiwan ranks fifth, with 13 out of every 100 inhabitants subscribing to the service, following the top-ranking South Korea, Hong Kong, Canada and Iceland. In the price category, Taiwan's US$19.39 monthly subscription charges are world's eighth-lowest, with China topping the list with US$9.66, followed by Lithuania, Jordan, Slovakia, Japan, Belarus and Macau. In the category that measures the per-100kb unit charge against subscriber's monthly income, Japan is the least expensive, followed by Sweden and South Korea. The report also indicates a tremendous subscription rate, with over 100 million subscribers as of the beginning of this year in the global market. In addition, while cable services dominate the North American broadband markets, DSL is the main type of service format in other areas.
■ Manufacturers visit Africa
A visit to three African nations by a trade promotion delegation was fruitful, according to the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Ministry officials said that 27 Taiwanese manufacturers took part in the trade promotion group that went to Morocco, Egypt and Nigeria, attracting interest from 1,053 foreign companies. Business deals and follow-up trade opportunities are expected to amount to US$11.22 million, the officials said. Taiwan products such as machinery, construction materials and auto parts and components are especially welcome, they said.
■ Acer eyes Wal-Mart partnership
Acer Inc may sell its personal computers in the US through Wal-Mart Stores Inc to try gain market share, a Chinese-language newspaper reported without saying where it obtained the information. Acer was ranked No. 8 in the US in terms of market share as of the end of September, according to market researcher Gartner Inc. Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, offers merchandise such as apparel, appliances, electronics and hardware in its stores. Acer, Taiwan's third-largest computer company by market value, last year re-entered the US, the world's largest PC market, through agreements US with retailers.
■ Hon Hai sales increase
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), Taiwan's biggest electronics company by sales, said sales in November rose 23 percent from the same month last year. Sales climbed to NT$43.7 billion (US$1.3 billion), from NT$35.4 billion a year earlier, according to a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Sales of the Taipei-based company declined from NT$45.1 billion in October.
■ Quanta sales up 16 percent
Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world's biggest notebook computer maker, said November sales rose 16 percent from a year ago. Sales increased to NT$36.6 billion (US$1.1 billion) from NT$31.6 billion a year earlier, according to a Taiwan Stock Exchange statement. They fell from NT$40.1 billion in October.
■ NT dollar drops slightly
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday remained weak against its US counterpart, showing the biggest weekly decline in seven months on speculation the central bank will sell. The local currency dropped NT$0.140, or 0.9 percent, to close at NT$32.475 against the greenback on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$994 million.