HTC chairwoman and chief executive officer Cher Wang (王雪紅) yesterday apologized to shareholders for the company’s disappointing performance over the past few months.
Wang said HTC’s performance was mainly due to its poor operational efficiency and overly conservative marketing strategy amid fierce competition in the global market.
“HTC’s recent performance has let people down,” Wang said at the company’s annual general meeting.
Wang’s apology came a day after HTC’s stock price dropped below NT$100 to a 12-year low of NT$98. Shares stood as high as NT$1,300 on April 1, 2011.
This year’s HTC flagship One M9 smartphone, which was launched in April, was criticized for lacking differentiation from its previous model, the One M8. The smartphone also encountered thermal issues causing shipment delays after its sales launch.
In an effort to improve the company’s smartphone segment, HTC’s core business, Wang said the company plans to launch a “hero product” in October, and make significant improvements in innovation and design for the next flagship model next year.
The company is also planning to improve its product mix strategy for smartphones, she added.
Wang said HTC would reduce its production costs by improving production efficiency as well as optimizing its components supply chain, adding that it would also outsource some orders to increase operational flexibility.
Saying that the marketing budgets of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co are 20 times higher than HTC’s, Wang said the firm must improve its marketing strategies.
Chief financial officer Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨) said that HTC increased research and development investment by 4 percent annually to NT$13 billion (US$419.33 million) last year, while its marketing expenses dropped 19.26 percent to NT$26 billion from a year ago.
HTC does not sell well using conventional marketing strategies, Wang said, adding that it would not renew US actor Robert Downey Jr’s contract after this year, but that it would keep working with the popular Taiwanese rock group Mayday (五月天).
In an attempt to develop new business, HTC would develop virtual reality applications, such as the HTC Vive virtual reality headset that it developed with US-based game developer Valve, Wang said.
Wang said that the HTC Vive, which was unveiled at the annual World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in March, has been well-received by the market and that the company would focus on virtual reality development.
“I am upbeat about HTC’s outlook. We aim to focus on developing the right products,” Wang said.
The company has not announced a launch date for the Vive.
At an investors’ conference in February, Chang said that HTC hopes the non-smartphone segment can contribute at least 10 percent of the firm’s total revenues next year.
HTC’s shares closed up 0.51 percent at NT$98.5 in Taipei trading yesterday, while the TAIEX lost 0.12 percent.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
India’s COVID-19 economic gloom turned into despair this week, on news that its per capita GDP for this year might be lower than that of Bangladesh. “Any emerging economy doing well is good news,” Kaushik Basu, a former World Bank chief economist, said on Twitter after the IMF updated its World Economic Outlook. “But it’s shocking that India, which had a lead of 25% five years ago, is now trailing.” Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down bars and concert halls in the US in March, a new phenomenon was born: the vacation-rental nightclub. Professional party promoters started scanning Airbnb, Vrbo and other short-term rental sites for mansions and luxury condos for hire. Tickets were going for US$90 on Eventbrite and TikTok for soirees with bottle service and DJs. “People were looking to escape from their own homes and came into our tiny neighborhood to party all day, every day,” said Kristen Robinson Doe, a resident of a quiet suburban Dallas neighborhood, where a party pad was being rented out for more than
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their