Mon, Sep 19, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan's last notebook factory closes


The nation's notebook computer industry -- once the world's largest -- has closed its last assembly line and completed a massive relocation to China, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday.

First International Computer Co (大眾電腦) recently shut down its Taiwanese factory, becoming the last Taiwanese laptop maker to move its production facilities to China, the paper said, citing company chairman Chien Ming (簡明仁).

Chien said his company has sustained losses in the past few years as other Taiwanese makers churned out less expensive laptops in China, taking advantage of lower labor and production costs there.

Taiwanese firms produced US$21.8 billion in notebook computers last year, accounting for 72.4 percent of the world total. But leading makers such as Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) and Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) began producing in China several years ago, leaving their research and development centers in Taiwan.

Besides notebook computers, Taiwan is also the world's leader in manufacturing desktop computers, monitors, motherboards, keyboards and mouses.

Most of Taiwan's computer hardware is made on an original equipment manufacturing basis, meaning products are made to be marketed abroad under large international brands such as Apple, Dell or IBM.

However, most of the goods are made in China by Taiwanese firms.

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