Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the nation's largest electronics manufacturer, has won the bid to build a 12-story information technology (IT) center in downtown Taipei, the Taipei City Government said yesterday.
The project is part of the city's ambitious plans to turn the area into the nation's IT hub.
The company will invest NT$3.7 billion (US$118 million) to build “Taipei IT Park” and allocate NT$200 million as a fund to encourage innovation and cultivate talent in the high-tech industry.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the proposed IT center, which will be located next to the Guanghua Computer Market on Bade Road, could expand the electronics markets in the area and turn the area into Taipei's version of Akihabara (秋葉原), a major shopping area in Tokyo for electronics and computer products.
The operator of the build-operate-transfer project will have the right to operate the park for 50 years. The planned complex, to be situated on a 8,864m² lot, is expected to include a 3C shopping mall, brand products shop and a multifunctional exhibition hall.
Other planned facilities in the park include a state-of-the-art technology exhibition center, a digital entertainment zone and a business cultivation center.
“We believe in the expertise of Hon Hai and its chairman, Terry Gou (郭台銘), who can help us build and manage the center. The development of the area as an IT town will benefit our residents and the city,” Hau said at Taipei City Hall.
Chiu Da-chan (邱大展), commissioner of Taipei City's Department of Finance, said that a total of five companies had participated in the public bid, including Clevo Co (藍天電腦) and Synnex Technology International Corp (聯強國際), and 11 of the 12 members of the commission that reviewed the bids voted for Hon Hai.
Hau dismissed speculation that the city government had favored Hon Hai bid as Gou sponsored the city government's Taipei Hall at the World Expo in Shanghai.
Chiu said the center would generate NT$6.4 billion in value each year and create 1,500 jobs in the city.
The center is scheduled to be completed and to open in 2014.
Asked about the results, Clevo chairman Kent Hsu (許崑泰) said he was very disappointed.
After successfully opening the Buynow shopping mall chain in China, which retails 3C information-related products, Hsu said he wanted to use the company's know-how to build a successful shopping center along the same line in Taiwan.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA
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