Thu, May 16, 2019 - Page 12 News List

PChome chairman defends attempt to lease Chunghwa Post storage units

By Natasha Li  /  Staff reporter

PChome Online Inc chairman Jan Hung-tze shows reporters in Taipei yesterday a diagram of 15 storage units that his company wants to lease in the Chunghwa Post Logistics Park in New Taipei City’s Linkou District.

Photo: CNA

PChome Online Inc (網路家庭) chairman Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志) yesterday reiterated the legality of the company’s bid to lease 15 storage units in the Chunghwa Post Logistics Park (中中華郵政物流園區) and dismissed accusations by some lawmakers as “irresponsible” and “lacking commonsense.”

Although Chunghwa Post approved the bid in March, PChome had since then been asked to give up several of the units, Jan said in a statement.

“Powerful members” interfered with the bidding process, causing other bidders to gain preference, Jan said, without naming anyone.

Although it required a total investment of up to NT$5.3 billion (US$170.36 million) in rental fees over the next 15 years and NT$3 billion in extra costs, PChome found that the logistics park met its needs, Jan said, adding that PChome has invested significantly in local logistics and warehouse services over the past 15 years.

“They [lawmakers] owe me an apology,” Jan said in the statement, denying accusations of any wrongdoing.

PChome said that its original bid remained good, and that it welcomed a decision from the Executive Yuan that Chunghwa Post would honor its deal with the company.

The 15 units that PChome plans to lease cover 148,000m2 of land in Taoyuan’s Gueishan District (龜山), Jan said.

The company would invest NT$3 billion to set up systems and equipment, and offer 5,000 jobs, Jan added.

PChome, the nation’s largest e-commerce operator, reported net profit of NT$41.35 million for the first quarter, with earnings per share of NT$0.42.

The company said it rebounded from a string of losses that began in the third quarter of 2017, thanks to a marked decline in marketing expenses, which dropped from NT$1.74 billion to NT$860 million over the period.

The turnaround came as the company in November last year began charging a transactional fee — which in March it fixed at 1.49 percent — for goods listed on its e-commerce platform, and dropped it offer of free shipping since last year.

First-quarter revenue increased 12.3 percent annually to NT$9.20 billion thanks to strong home appliance and consumer electronics sales, along with sales of imported goods and fresh produce during the Lunar New Year holiday, it said.

The company aims to build an ecosystem for its digital currency reward system, in which people can redeem P-coins from airports to bookstores, Jan said.

PChome last year partnered with E.Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) to issue a credit card based on P-coins.

The company also aims to extend its share of the mobile payment market by partnering with Jkopay Co (街口電子支付).

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