FPG starts Vietnam plant
Formosa Plastics Group’s (FPG, 台塑集團) Vietnam-based subsidiary, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp (台塑河靜鋼鐵興業), yesterday said the No. 1 blast furnace of its steel complex was ignited on Tuesday evening for a test run. In a sign that the complex, which is in the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh Province, was on track to prepare for formal production, it produced its first steel slab at 8:45am yesterday, marking a first step toward commercial production, FPG said. Formosa Ha Tinh Steel’s major shareholders include FPG, China Steel Corp (中鋼) and Japanese firm JFE Steel Corp, and it had faced repeated delays in production since construction of the facility started in December 2013 due to various industrial incidents, as well as anti-Chinese protests.
Wistron invests for iPhone
Wistron Corp’s (緯創) board on Wednesday approved an additional capital injection of US$200 million for its plant in Kunshan, China. Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said in a note that the company might use the sizeable investment in the Kunshan plant to expand its capacity for Apple iPhone manufacturing next year. Wistron has been manufacturing large-sized iPhones, from 6 Plus to 7 Plus, and would likely manufacture the 8 Plus model, Yuanta said yesterday. The brokerage said the announcement suggested that Wistron would continue to gain order allocation for iPhones. Yuanta said it has raised its iPhone shipment forecasts for Wistron from 15 million to 17 million units this year and from 24 million to 27 million units for next year, or an 8 percent to 10 percent share of total iPhone orders.
MiTAC transitions to software
Contract server maker MiTAC Holdings Corp (神達控股) yesterday said it is targeting a turnaround in the company’s mobile segment this year, citing software orders’ contribution to earnings. MiTAC was a desktop assembler, but now focuses on its cloud and mobile businesses. The cloud business accounted for more than 80 percent and mobile segment for more than 10 percent of the company’s total sales last year, MiTAC president Billy Ho (何繼武) said at Computex Taipei. Ho said the company has been transforming into a software solution service provider by offering automotive navigation software and medical use-related software. Revenue from software services is estimated to reach more than NT$100 million (US$3.32 million) this year and the figure could grow to NT$1 billion by 2020, he said.
Cross-sector salary freeze
About 79 percent of companies in Taiwan’s industrial and service sectors froze salaries last year, according to a survey released on Wednesday by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). Only 20.9 percent of companies in the sectors gave pay raises, while 0.4 percent cut pay, according to the survey, which was conducted in February.
CPC hikes gas price
State-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) yesterday announced liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices would rise this month, while prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) would remain unchanged. Effective today, average prices for LNG per cubic meter are to increase by 2.99 percent from last month, CPC said. As a result, an average consumption of between 30m3 and 45m3 of LNG per month would mean increased costs of between NT$8.4 and NT$12.6 per household, CPC said.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees