■ Cross-strait trade rises
Indirect trade between Taiwan and China in the six months to June rose 15.40 percent from a year earlier to US$33.54 billion, the Board of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. The figure accounted for 18.7 percent of Taiwan's total foreign trade during the six-month period, compared with 17.7 percent a year earlier, it said. Exports to the mainland during the period rose 11.80 percent to US$23.98 billion, while imports from there were up 25.5 percent at US$9.56 billion. Taiwan enjoyed a trade surplus with China of US$14.42 billion dollars, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier, it said. Despite their political differences, China has been Taiwan's largest export market since November 2002 when it replaced the United States.
■ Server shipments rise
Taiwan's x86 server market saw a shipment of 18,270 units in the second quarter of this year, up 3 percent sequentially and 20 percent from a year ago, mainly driven by soaring demand from the telecommunication and gaming sectors, according to the International Data Corp (IDC). The manufacturing sector remained the biggest buyer of x86 servers for replacement and upgrade needs, Jonathan Gu (古嘉元), an analyst at IDC's Taiwan branch, said in a report released yesterday. Despite delays in government procurement, the rapidly rising demand from the telecom and gaming sectors are expected to bolster the server market in the months to come, Gu said. IBM Taiwan Corp continued to lead the nation's x86 server market in the second quarter with a 29 percent market share, ahead of the No.2 player Hewlett-Packard Taiwan Ltd, which has 26 percent, IDC said. Taipei-based Acer Inc was ranked in third place, with a 14-percent share, after the company's markdown strategy helped boost shipments by 63 percent from the previous quarter, the report said.
■ Acer profit doubles
Acer Corp, the world's fourth-largest personal computer maker by shipments, said on Tuesday its second-quarter net profit more than doubled from a year earlier on increased shipments. The company posted a net profit of NT$2.27 billion (US$69.51 million) for the three months ended June 30, more than doubling from NT$1.01 billion for the same period a year earlier. Acer's consolidated revenue for the April-June period was NT$65.68 billion, up more than a third from NT$48.63 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Separately, Acer plans to forge an alliance with Synnex Technology International Corp (聯強) to jointly explore the mainland Chinese market, a Chinese-language newspaper reported Tuesday, citing Acer Chairman Wang Jen-tang (王振堂). The two companies will formally announce the plan in October in China, the paper said.
■ MEMC opens 12-inch fab
MEMC Electronic Materials Inc yesterday celebrated the start of 12-inch wafer production at its Taisil facility in Hsinchu. Production is targeted to reach approximately 150,000 wafers per month by the end of 2006, depending upon market demand. Nabeel Gareeb, MEMC's chief executive officer, said in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that the start of production at Taisil gives the company the opportunity to expand its presence in one of the fastest growing regions in the world. "As market conditions dictate, we can install sufficient equipment within Taisil to produce approximately 400,000 300mm (12-inch) wafers per month without impacting 200s (eight-inch) wafering capability."