HTC chairwoman and chief executive officer Cher Wang (王雪紅) yesterday apologized to shareholders for the company’s disappointing performance over the past few months.
Wang said HTC’s performance was mainly due to its poor operational efficiency and overly conservative marketing strategy amid fierce competition in the global market.
“HTC’s recent performance has let people down,” Wang said at the company’s annual general meeting.
Wang’s apology came a day after HTC’s stock price dropped below NT$100 to a 12-year low of NT$98. Shares stood as high as NT$1,300 on April 1, 2011.
This year’s HTC flagship One M9 smartphone, which was launched in April, was criticized for lacking differentiation from its previous model, the One M8. The smartphone also encountered thermal issues causing shipment delays after its sales launch.
In an effort to improve the company’s smartphone segment, HTC’s core business, Wang said the company plans to launch a “hero product” in October, and make significant improvements in innovation and design for the next flagship model next year.
The company is also planning to improve its product mix strategy for smartphones, she added.
Wang said HTC would reduce its production costs by improving production efficiency as well as optimizing its components supply chain, adding that it would also outsource some orders to increase operational flexibility.
Saying that the marketing budgets of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co are 20 times higher than HTC’s, Wang said the firm must improve its marketing strategies.
Chief financial officer Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨) said that HTC increased research and development investment by 4 percent annually to NT$13 billion (US$419.33 million) last year, while its marketing expenses dropped 19.26 percent to NT$26 billion from a year ago.
HTC does not sell well using conventional marketing strategies, Wang said, adding that it would not renew US actor Robert Downey Jr’s contract after this year, but that it would keep working with the popular Taiwanese rock group Mayday (五月天).
In an attempt to develop new business, HTC would develop virtual reality applications, such as the HTC Vive virtual reality headset that it developed with US-based game developer Valve, Wang said.
Wang said that the HTC Vive, which was unveiled at the annual World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in March, has been well-received by the market and that the company would focus on virtual reality development.
“I am upbeat about HTC’s outlook. We aim to focus on developing the right products,” Wang said.
The company has not announced a launch date for the Vive.
At an investors’ conference in February, Chang said that HTC hopes the non-smartphone segment can contribute at least 10 percent of the firm’s total revenues next year.
HTC’s shares closed up 0.51 percent at NT$98.5 in Taipei trading yesterday, while the TAIEX lost 0.12 percent.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday. When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said. Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012. “We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.” In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that