The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) yesterday said it has received an oral notice from Qualcomm Inc to suspend negotiations over their 5G collaboration, after the US chip giant was fined NT$23.4 billion (US$773 million) for breaching Taiwan’s antitrust law.
The fine was imposed by the Fair Trade Commission on Oct. 11, saying that Qualcomm had contravened Taiwan’s competition law by manipulating its dominant position in the mobile baseband sector and thwarting other players’ participation in the market.
The decision led to widespread discussions and concern that it might jeopardize Taiwan’s partnership with Qualcomm in the 5G field and dash its hope of joining the global 5G supply chain in the beginning phase.
Photo courtesy of Kuan Bi-ling’s office
“If we do not impose any penalty, I do not know how the competition law can work,” FTC chairwoman Huang Mei-ying (黃美瑛) said yesterday as she defended the decision during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Qualcomm plans to discuss with the commission how to pay the fine, Huang said.
ITRI’s statement yesterday suggested that the worries might be realized.
“The institute has been notified orally by Qualcomm to halt conveying meetings about 5G cooperation,” it said in a statement, adding that it has been regularly meeting with Qualcomm representatives to exchange views on 5G technologies.
The institute would continue its research and development in 5G and related technologies to help facilitate the local industries’ development, the statement said.
It said it is evaluating the suspension’s potential effects on Taiwan’s 5G development, but did not elaborate.
Qualcomm said in August that it planned to collaborate with ITRI on 5G NR-enabled small cell technologies.
It said the aim was to accelerate delivery and global commercialization of 5G NR small cell products and infrastructure by Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it believes Taiwan’s 5G technology development will be affected if Qualcomm ends its collaboration with ITRI.
The ministry said that it has requested the institute to keep communicating with Qualcomm to resume the collaboration.
The ministry last week said it was concerned that the fine could create an unfriendly atmosphere for foreign investments and undermine Taiwan’s economic development in the long term.
Additional reporting by Lauly Li
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit