Motech Industries Inc (茂迪) yesterday said it plans to eliminate more than 300 contract jobs soon to reduce costs and would not rule out cutting full-time positions, as the solar cell maker struggles to ride out a severe slump in the industry.
The workforce reduction started when Motech shut down a solar wafer production line in June — affecting 160 employees — to stem losses, as market demand weakened when solar installations in China began to slow in June.
“To quickly respond to market changes, the company will adjust personnel based on customer orders and required production capacity. The company’s goal is to streamline operations,” Tainan-based Motech said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
Motech plans to scale down operations to improve competitiveness and financial performance in a depressed market, the company said.
“Foreign contract employees will be affected by the workforce adjustment, as they mostly supplement existing personnel,” it said.
Shares in Motech plunged 1.87 percent to NT$9.45 in Taipei trading yesterday after the company disclosed the job cuts.
The company reported that cumulative losses in the first half of the year widened to NT$3.14 billion (US$101.93 million), or NT$5.84 per share, compared with losses of NT$1.7 billion in the same period last year.
Motech has been in the red since 2014.
TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) yesterday forecast Taiwan’s solar installation market would expand at an annual compound growth rate of 303 percent to 4 gigawatts by 2025, with an estimated 850 to 920 megawatts installed this year.
Strong growth is expected on the back of the government’s green energy policy, which encourages the installation of solar panels on the roofs of farm buildings and in fallow fields.
Neo Solar Power Energy Corp (新日光能源) became the nation’s biggest solar module supplier by module capacity in the first half of the year, outranking AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), TrendForce added.
Newly established Taiwan Solar Energy Corp (元晶太陽能) and Taiwan Solar Module Manufacturing Co (TSMMC, 台灣太陽能模組製造) are expected to rank second and third respectively in the second half of the year thanks to increased production, while AUO should fall to fourth place, TrendForce said.
TSMMC, a joint venture between Motech and Giga Solar Materials Corp (碩禾), was formed in April.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
Production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp’s (TSMC, 台積電) fabs was not affected by a fire at a construction site for a water recycling facility in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker said that the construction site is not adjacent to its fabs, which were unaffected. CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) is responsible for the construction of the facility, which it is to operate itself once it is completed, the chipmaker said. The facility caught fire at about 11am, and the blaze was brought under control about 30 minutes after the incident was reported, the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration
‘SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PAIN’: A military takeover would only temporarily weigh on wafer production on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, IC Insights said Taiwan has more chip manufacturing capacity than any other economy in the world, US-based market information advisory firm IC Insights said in a research paper last week, cautioning that the nation’s strength could prompt China to attempt to take over Taiwan. Taiwan commanded 21.4 percent of global installed IC capacity, ahead of South Korea’s 20.4 percent, Japan’s 15.8 percent and China’s 15.3 percent, North America’s 12.6 percent and Europe’s 5.7 percent, IC Insights said. Taiwan is one of two countries that uses 10-nanometer technology or better to produce wafers, holding 62.8 percent of global capacity, with South Korea holding the remaining 37.2
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has