HTC Corp (宏達電) chairwoman and chief executive officer Cher Wang (王雪紅) yesterday apologized to shareholders for the company’s disappointing performance in the past year, but avoided answering shareholders’ questions on when HTC would swing back to profit.
“I understand that an apology would not solve the issues, but I hope the shareholders have faith in HTC, as we have built a solid foundation for success through our efforts in VR [virtual reality] business in the past year,” Wang said at the company’s annual general meeting in Taoyuan.
The smartphone company reported a net loss of NT$15.53 billion (US$477.85 million), or NT$18.79 per share, for last year, compared with a net income of NT$2.35 billion, or NT$1.8 per share, in the previous year.
Wang said it is not difficult to make HTC’s VR business profitable, but the company has to seek strategic partners and invest more in contents and platforms in a bid to build a VR ecosystem and secure a leading position in the emerging market.
She said the company in April launched a US$100 million accelerator program for VR start-ups in Taipei, Beijing and San Francisco.
HTC plans to expand the program to speed up the technology’s development and increase contents for its VR headset Vive, she added.
Given that the VR business would play the most important role in HTC’s growth in the next 10 years, the company has established a wholly owned VR subsidiary, Wang said.
Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨), head of HTC’s global sales division, said HTC might allow future strategic partners to invest “a small amount” of stakes in the subsidiary, but ensured that it would have no affect on the interests of HTC shareholders in the VR subsidiary, as HTC is to remain the largest shareholder.
Chang said the company has developed several new business models in the VR ecosystem for long-term growth, but he declined to elaborate on the details of the business models due to increasing international competition.
In response to shareholders’ concerns regarding HTC’s troubled smartphone business, Chang said the sales performance of this year’s flagship model M10 is much better than the last year’s M9.
Chang said sales of M9 last year were much lower than the company’s expectations, causing problems and dragging HTC’s overall performance from the second quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year.
Through several quarters of efforts, HTC has lowered 40 percent of its operational costs in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same period last year, he said.
With improvement in user experience and inventory management, M10 has generated profits at retail channels since it was launched at the beginning of this quarter, Chang said.
The robust demand for M10 has also helped drive up demand for HTC’s other smartphones by about 20 percent, he added.
HTC shares dropped 1.73 percent to close at NT$90.8 in Taipei trading yesterday.
This week’s undoing of the TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin and its sister token, Luna, has ramifications for all of crypto. First, there is the immediate impact: The rapid collapse of a once-popular pair of cryptocurrencies sent a ripple effect across the industry, contributing to plummeting coin prices that wiped hundreds of billions of market value from the digital-asset market and stoked worries over the potential fragility of digital-asset ventures. Then there are the knock-on effects. In addition to delivering punishing losses to individual users and investment firms, the spectacular failure of a market darling like Terra threatens to have a cooling effect
material SHORTAGE: Even as workers are about to return, Quanta lacks operating supplies, while Pegatron reported its lowest revenues in 11 quarters, the companies said Taiwan’s major Apple Inc supplier cut its outlook for the second quarter, joining a growing list of manufacturers warning about the fallout from lockdowns aimed at containing China’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years. Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), which assembles MacBooks, expects a 20 percent quarterly fall in notebook shipments and a squeeze on margins this quarter due to the lockdown, a company representative said on Friday during an earnings call. The impact from supply chain disruptions could last until the end of the year, she said. The company’s Shanghai factory has been operating under tight restrictions since the middle of last month,
The US and the EU were yesterday to announce a joint effort aimed at identifying semiconductor supply disruptions as well as countering Russian disinformation, officials said. Top US officials are visiting the French scientific hub of Saclay for a meetup of the Trade and Technology Council, created last year as China increasingly exerts its technology clout. US officials acknowledged that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has broadened the council’s scope, but said the Western bloc still has its eye on competition from China. The two sides will announce an “early warning system” for semiconductors supply disruptions, hoping to avoid excessive competition between Western powers
Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Taiwan, yesterday introduced Toyota Motor Corp’s first all-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV), the bZ4X, joining rivals in vying for a share of the nation’s fast-growing electric vehicle market. Starting today, the bZ4X, with a price tag of NT$1.599 million (US$53,780), would be available for online purchase only and customers need to download a special app to place orders, Hotai said. Hotai has received 300 of the electric SUVs, it said, adding that it is not enough to meet robust market demand. A total of 229 electric vehicles were sold in the