Solartech lays off 80 workers
Solar cell maker Solartech Energy Corp (昇陽光電) yesterday said it had laid off 80 employees after a production line was suspended due to damage from a fire last month. As the production line is expected to resume operations within the next six months, Solartech said it allocated workers affected by the suspension to its solar module factory. However, some employees refused to accept the reassignment, company spokesman Alex Wu (吳幸元) said, adding that those workers were dismissed. Solartech reported losses of NT$770 million (US$25.62 million) in the first three quarters of this year, widening from losses of NT$37.36 million in the same period last year. Gross losses totaled NT$385 million in the first three quarters, compared with gross profit of NT$195 million the previous year, company data showed.
Asustek tops ministry list
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) was named the top Taiwanese global brand for the fifth consecutive year in a brand value estimation report released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday. The ministry cited Asustek’s aggressive expansion in the smartphone and gaming PC sectors, as well as persistent efforts to improve user experience, in ranking it top of 19 other Taiwanese brands. Asustek’s brand value totaled US$1.67 billion this year, while Internet security firm Trend Micro Inc (趨勢科技) ranked second with US$1.4 billion, the report showed. Want Want Group (旺旺集團) secured third place with a brand value of US$929 million, the report showed.
Tesla opens Hsinchu station
Tesla Inc yesterday launched the nation’s fifth supercharger station at Hsinchu Science Park as part of its efforts to improve its charging infrastructure in the nation. The Hsinchu station, which allows users to replenish their car’s batteries in minutes, would help Tesla further expand its charging network in northern Taiwan, the firm said in a statement. Tesla — which has 130 charging stations nationwide with more than 300 connectors — plans to install more charging stations in eastern Taiwan, it said earlier this year, without elaborating.
China Steel profit rises 5%
China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation’s only integrated steelmaker, yesterday posted pretax profit of NT$2.39 billion for last month, a 5 percent increase from NT$2.28 billion in September, mainly due to higher product prices. Sales last month fell 1 percent month-on-month from NT$29.81 billion to NT$29.6 billion, the company said in a statement, but added that operating profit grew 13 percent month-on-month from NT$2.01 billion to NT$2.26 billion. Cumulative revenue in the first 10 months was NT$286.37 billion, a 21 percent increase from NT$236.92 billion in the same period last year.
TAIEX firms’ revenue up 5%
Companies included in the TAIEX last quarter saw their combined revenue rise 5.16 percent year-on-year to NT$19.65 trillion, with combined pretax earnings in that period gaining 15.03 percent from a year earlier to NT$1.52 trillion, Financial Supervisory Commission data released yesterday showed. The gains were led by the optoelectronics, plastics, memory and semiconductor sectors. Companies listed on the Taipei Exchange last quarter saw their aggregate sales rise 5.77 percent year-on-year to NT$1.46 trillion, with total pretax earnings gaining 18.15 percent from a year earlier to NT$10.35 billion.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
UPGRADE AND TRANSFORM: Although the cross-strait trade deal might remain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said businesses should prepare for any disruptions Taiwan might face a decline in foreign trade with China if the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) ends this year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. The agreement, which was signed and put into effect in 2010 to reduce trade barriers across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to end this year, despite not having an exact termination date. “We have not received notification [from China] that it wishes to terminate ECFA,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting at the Legislative Yuan. “Even if we are notified, the agreement would only cease after six months.” While acknowledging the