Advantech in patent probe
Advantech Co Ltd (研華) has authorized its lawyers to cooperate with a patent investigation by the US International Trade Commission, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday. Advantech’s response came after the Ministry of Economic Affairs said the US commission on Wednesday last week initiated an investigation into Advantech and two other Taiwanese companies over allegations of patent infringement relating to software solutions for industrial automation.
Meitu launches M6 phone
Meitu Inc (美圖) yesterday launched its M6 flagship smartphone in Taiwan. Meitu, which is also known for its mobile application for taking selfies, said it is optimistic about the M6’s sales outlook, as there are more than 27 million downloads of its app in the market. The smartphone is assembled by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) subsidiary FIH Mobile Ltd (富智康) and uses a processor supplied by MediaTek Inc (聯發科), Meitu said.
HTC unveils new phones
HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday unveiled two new smartphones — the HTC Desire 10 Pro and HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle — as part of the company’s latest attempt to improve its smartphone business. The HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle, priced at NT$7,990, started selling in Taiwan yesterday, while the higher-end HTC Desire 10 Pro will be available from November, the company said. Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨), president of the company’s smartphone and connected devices business, told investors last month that the company hoped its smartphone business would break even this quarter, on the back of the extended momentum of its flagship HTC 10 and the new smartphone launches.
AUO selling solar venture
AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 有達光電), the nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, yesterday said it plans to sell its stake in a solar cell joint venture to SunPower Technology Ltd for US$170 million. After selling 1.13 billion common shares of AUO SunPower Sdn Bhd, AUO will book a loss of US$7 million this quarter. The company said it has also signed a solar model supply contract with SunPower Systems Sarl. The panelmaker still makes monosilicon solar modules and offers solar products mainly through its subsidiaries.
SAS to set up joint venture
Solar wafer maker Sino-America Silicon Products Inc (SAS, 中美晶) yesterday said it plans to spend up to NT$450 million (US$14.35 million) to set up a joint venture with a financial services provider to operate solar power plants. SAS is to hold a 30 percent stake in the venture, the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. That means the joint venture will have paid-in capital of about NT$1.5 billion. SAS did not disclose the name of its partner. SAS’ move came after local rival Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光能源) last month said that it would invest NT$1.5 billion in a joint venture with Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) to build new solar power plants in Taiwan.
Namchow posts profit
Cooking oil manufacturer Namchow Chemical Industrial Co (南僑化學工業) yesterday reported an unaudited net profit of NT$104 million for last month. Cumulative net profit in the first eight months rose 15 percent year-on-year to NT$841 million, supported by stable demand, it said in a stock exchange filing.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation