Mon, Mar 07, 2005 - Page 4 News List

T-commerce is poised to take off

CNA , TAIPEI

Television commerce, better known as T-commerce, is a new cash cow industry poised to change Taiwan's consumer purchase habits as well as create a new marketing system for traders.

Addressing a symposium on integration of service industries and the inspiration of T-commerce, Government Information Office Director-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that T-commerce generated business worth over NT$30 billion (approximately US$1 billion) in Taiwan last year, an amount exceeding the total yielded by all cable TV channels in Taiwan the same year.

Lin said that T-commerce operators are optimistic that similar business will shoot up to the tune of NT$100 billion in three or five years.

The GIO head, who is the top official in charge of Taiwan's television, broadcasting and related affairs, said that although this new business area deserves support and encouragement, it also needs proper control to prevent it from eventual failure as a result of fighting and competition.

Also addressing the symposium, Gary Wang (王令麟), chairman of Taiwan's General Chamber of Commerce, which is co-sponsoring the symposium, said that "shopless" retail sales such as T-commerce generated a total of NT$61.9 billion in business transactions in Taiwan last year, up 12 percent over that posted in 2002.

Although T-commerce is still relatively a new business in Taiwan, Wang said, its business turnover has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two years to constitute 2.1 percent of the business turnover posted by the entire retail business sector in Taiwan in 2004.

Noting that Taiwan's T-commerce has been growing at a pace faster than that in the United States and Japan, Wang suggested that the government include the T-commerce industry into the "Digital Taiwan Project" that is already underway.

Wang is the CEO of the Eastern T-Commerce Channel, one of the major T-commerce operators in Taiwan, and an affiliate of the Eastern Multimedia Group.

Meanwhile, Chen Po-chih (陳博志), chairman of the Taiwan Thinktank, another co-sponsor of the symposium, said T-commerce is regarded as a cash-making machine, with profits snowballing.

T-commerce, which has "the disparities of small-amount sales" as a unique characteristic, offers a new niche for small- and medium-sized enterprises in Taiwan seeking business breakthroughs, Chen noted.

He warned, however, that the government should oversee the development of T-commerce properly so as to prevent it from becoming a cartel of business circulation and distribution.

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