Skype growing in Taiwan
Internet portal PC Home Online (網路家庭) yesterday announced that its Internet telephony service "PCHome-Skype," a co-branded service with Skype Technologies SA, has received over 1 million registered users in Taiwan since the service was introduced last July.
Among the number, 640,000 registered to use "SkypeOut," which enables users to make domestic or international calls from computers to fixed-line and mobile phones for one-eighth to one-third the price that fixed-line carriers charge.
"Taiwan is the most successful market of our business world-wide," Niklas Zennstrom, CEO and co-founder of Skype, told a press conference in Taipei yesterday.
Zennstrom said the company will keep providing other value-added services and applications to Skype users, like a corded USB phone jointly developed Skype and PC Home Online. With the USB phone, users can make calls easier by dialing the numerical keypad, as well as receiving calls from it.
China Air gets new planes
China Airlines Ltd (華航), the nation's largest carrier, took delivery of the first of three Boeing B747-400 cargo planes it is expecting this year, the company said yesterday.
By the end of the year, China Airlines will have 18 B747-400 cargo planes, the company said in a statement.
China Airlines said its cargo capacity will increase 7 percent this year from last year, while cargo revenue is expected to rise 12 percent from last year, the statement said.
Evergreen inks deal in China
Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) has signed a deal with the Chinese city of Ningbo for its first-ever port investment project in China, a company official said.
The agreement to build a two-berth container terminal at Ningbo Port in Zhejiang Province was signed on Monday in Hong Kong by Evergreen subsidiary Lloyd Triestino and the Ningbo Port administration, the official said.
"This is our group's first such port terminal investment on the mainland," the official said.
The South China Morning Post reported that Evergreen had agreed to take a 50 percent stake in the project.
Evergreen's investment was being routed through its Italian shipping line, Lloyd Triestino, to avoid the sensitivity of direct investment in infrastructure projects in China, the report said.
Panel makers to hire 14,000
Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) and four other local flat-panel makers are planning to hire about 14,000 workers this year, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing company officials.
More technicians and engineers are needed at the five flat-panel makers as the companies' new plants are scheduled to start production this year, the paper said.
Chi Mei, the nation's second-largest maker of flat-panel displays used in computers and televisions, expects its shipments will exceed 4 million panels this year, up from 2 million panels last year, the daily earlier reported on Jan. 10.
Chinatrust expanding abroad
Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託) will focus on expanding its overseas business this year and is planning to open eight more overseas branches, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing the bank's vice chairman Charles Lo (羅聯福).
Chinatrust will open more branches in the US, Canada, the Philippines and Indonesia, taking its total to 66 from 58, the paper reported, citing Lo. Chinatrust has the biggest overseas network among Taiwanese lenders.