Wed, Jan 31, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Hon Hai helping Sharp re-enter PC market: report

Staff writer, with CNA

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is helping its Japanese subsidiary, Sharp Corp, return to the PC market by purchasing Toshiba’s PC operations, the Nikkei Asian Review said yesterday.

In a report on its Web site, the Japanese newspaper said that Sharp was considering buying Toshiba’s struggling PC operations, including its Dynabook laptop brand.

Citing unnamed sources, the report said that the two Japanese companies are in working-level talks for a proposed deal of about ¥10 billion (US$9.58 billion).

Hon Hai, known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) outside of Taiwan, is playing a critical role in Sharp’s efforts to get back into the PC business, the report said.

Before Sharp withdrew from the PC market in 2010, it was making computers under the Mebius brand, along with other devices, but its bottom line was shrinking, the report said.

Since Hon Hai acquired a 66 percent stake in Sharp in 2016, electronic devices have become the strongest area of synergy between the two companies, the report said, citing Sharp president and chief executive officer Tai Jeng-wu (戴正吳).

As the world’s largest contract electronics maker, Hon Hai builds computers for brands like HP Inc and Dell Inc, and has the expertise and procurement networks to efficiently manufacture large volumes of products, the report said.

Meanwhile, Sharp is good at small and mid-size LCD panels for gadgets, such as computers and smartphones, it said.

Sharp has also been putting great effort into penetrating the TV and smartphone markets, and reached its goal of selling about 10 million TVs last year, the report said, citing Tai.

Toshiba’s PC business incurred an operating loss of ¥500 million in fiscal 2016 on revenue of ¥191.8 billion, as the company faced stiff competition from rivals in Taiwan, China and elsewhere, it said.

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