Chunghwa inks Pingtan Island investment deal

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - Page 3

A Chunghwa Telecom executive confirmed on Wednesday that the nation’s biggest telecoms carrier has signed a deal to invest in a Chinese special economic zone.

Chunghwa Telecom vice president Lee Yen-sung (李炎松) said on the sidelines of an investor conference that the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with China Telecom, the smallest of China’s three carriers, to build telecoms infrastructure and assist in China Telecom’s operations on Pingtan Island.

He did not reveal the details of the deal, but said that the company will not invest in a proposed cloud-computing data center in the special economic zone.

China’s state-owned China News Service recently reported that Chunghwa had signed a deal with China Telecom to build a cloud computing data center consisting of 200,000 units of 4U servers on the island.

The report also said that the 30 billion yuan (US$4.82 billion) investment project is expected to create 11,700 jobs.

Chunghwa Telecom’s earnings per share for last year are estimated at NT$4.85, a year-on-year drop of 6 percent, Lee said.

China’s Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone lies off the coast of China’s Fujian Province. Early last year it was announced that a large cloud computing center would be built on Pingtan Island, China’s fifth-largest island. In an effort to lure Taiwanese businesspeople to invest on the island, China is pitching a concept of “joint planning, development, operation, management and benefits” between Taiwan and China.

However, China’s “joint management” proposal stirred controversy in Taiwan, with some people arguing that it implies a “one country, two systems” approach.”