Taiwan Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Sep 16, 2013 - Page 14

TELECOMS

HTC confirms lay offs

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) confirmed on Saturday media reports that its division in the US has laid off some employees. Foreign media reports said that HTC America has let go up to 20 percent of its workforce. The company’s US arm originally had about 150 employees. New Taipei City (新北市)-headquartered HTC defended the layoffs as a decisive action to streamline management, but it did not reveal how many employees had been affected. Media reports said that about 30 employees and contract workers had been laid off. HTC said in a statement that the reduction in workforce was a “decisive action ... to streamline and optimize our organization and improve efficiency after several years of aggressive growth.”

FOOD

No hike in cooking oil price

The Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association said on Saturday that their members would not increase the price of cooking oil in the short term and would absorb the rise in costs resulting from higher electric rates, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement. The ministry’s remarks came after local media reported that cooking oil suppliers were planning to increase prices by between 3 percent and 5 percent next month to reflect the price hikes by state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電). The ministry said that Taipower’s proposed 10.3 percent increase in electricity rates for industrial users would raise the industry’s manufacturing costs by only 0.164 percent. Global prices of soybean, the main raw material used in the manufacture of cooking oil, have also remained stable this year.