Sat, Jun 17, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Quanta chair urges 5G, automation investment

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達) chairman Barry Lam (林百里) yesterday called on the government to invest in 5G technology and industrial automation as well as ease regulations in preparation for the nation’s entrance into the global digital economy.

Lam said both the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence industries rely on 5G connectivity, but progress in these fields is falling behind other nations, such as the US and China.

“I am really worried. Taiwan is a technology-oriented nation, but it is not developing new technologies,” Lam told a news conference following the company’s annual general meeting at its headquarters in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口).

The government should spend some of the NT$880 billion (US$28.97 billion) earmarked for the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program on 5G projects and new technology applications, which are innovative and could generate large revenues in the long term, Lam said.

It must also loosen regulations governing the digital economy, as a friendly and free environment is the key to using new technologies and increasing business opportunities, Lam added.

For instance, some nations allow the use of electronic identification for citizens, while Taiwan does not, Lam said, adding that progress in mobile payments also lags behind other nations.

Quanta vice chairman C.C. Leung (梁次震) echoed Lam’s concerns, saying that the nation’s electronic toll collection system is praised by international markets, but it is a pity that it is only used on freeways.

The government should think about how to expand the use of existing technologies to make the environment “smarter,” Leung said.

The government should invest in domestic manufacturers to build high-efficiency robotic arms to meet the rising global demand for industrial automation and compete against Japanese firms, Leung said.

There is already a solid foundation for the machinery industry — if the government assists manufacturers in building robotic arms with sensing capabilities to make the devices “smarter,” the nation’s global competitiveness could improve, he added.

“Evolving from a nation of notebook computers to one of ‘smart’ robotic arms is an option for growth,” Leung said.

Regarding the company’s performance in the second half of the year, Leung said it should be better than the first half on stronger-than-expected global demand for notebooks and a positive outlook for wearable devices.

The company’s notebook shipments next quarter are estimated to be higher than this quarter, he said, without disclosing a forecast for the range of growth.

Quanta’s shipments of wearable devices in the second half of the year are also expected to increase annually, driven by functions featured in clients’ new products, he added.

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