Taiwan Life fined NT$6m
The Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday fined Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽保險) NT$6 million (US$199,382) for irregularities related to a real-estate transaction that was made as the insurer was acquired by CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) in 2015. CTBC Financial was found to have overpaid for commercial property that was owned by Gobo Group (國寶集團), a major shareholder in the insurer. The property was put to auction in 2014 with a starting bid of NT$1.4 billion and did not find a buyer. It was later sold to CTBC Financial for NT$1.57 billion.
ASLAN defends IPO
ASLAN Pharmaceuticals (亞獅康), a biotech firm focused on the development of immunotherapies and targeted agents for Asia-prevalent tumor types, yesterday responded to allegations that the interests of retail investors who had participated in its initial public offering (IPO) on the Taipei Exchange had been harmed as its share price dropped from its NT$58 debut to NT$52.2. The company said that all of its investors have agreed to lockup periods of one to two years for board members and management, and six months for other investors of varying stakes. They did not sell ASLAN shares during its volatile market debut on Thursday last week, and it is not seeking to capital gains as critics claim, the company said.
HTC sales hit 14-month low
HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday reported that its sales last month had dipped 4 percent sequentially and 33 percent annually to NT$4.53 billion, reaching the lowest in the past 14 months. Sales during the first five months of this year fell 13 percent annually to NT$23.78 billion. The company attributed its sales performance to an ongoing product cycle adjustment, as it had launched its latest HTC U11 flagship handset last month. The company would also cut its number of new handset models this year from six to five in a bid to remain in the black.
MediaTek reports growth
MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest handset chip designer, yesterday reported NT$18.44 billion in revenue for last month, representing 3.89 percent growth from April’s NT$17.75 billion. The sequential growth was supported by recovering demand from Chinese handset makers. On an annual basis, revenue plunged 25.16 percent from NT$24.64 billion made in May last year. The company forecast in April that revenue would be flat or grow 8 percent quarter-over-quarter to between NT$56.1 billion and NT$60.6 billion. Shipments of chips used in smartphones and tablets are to increase by less than 5 percent quarterly to between 110 million and 120 million units this quarter, MediaTek said.
Nanya reduction hits revenue
DRAM chipmaker Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) yesterday said revenue fell 4.68 percent last month to NT$4.12 billion from NT$4.32 billion in April due to a 4 percent reduction in shipments. The Taoyuan-based chipmaker attributed the shipment decline to its ongoing technological migration to 20 nanometer (nm) technology from 30nm technology. Compared with the same period last year, revenue soared 42.06 percent from NT$2.9 billion. As chip prices are stabilizing, Nanya Technology expects revenue to return to growth this month on a monthly basis. The company expects shipments to grow about 1 percent this quarter from last quarter.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s (TSMC, 台積電) first wafer fab in Kumamoto, Japan is still set to launch commercial production in the fourth quarter of this year as planned, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said on Saturday in response to reports that mass production might begin ahead of schedule. TSMC said the monthly production capacity of the joint venture fab, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM), is expected to hit 55,000 units of 12-inch wafers, using the mature 12-nanometer, 16-nanometer, 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer processes. JASM is owned by TSMC and its Japanese business partners Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp and Denso Corp, with the Taiwanese company
US President Joe Biden’s administration is in talks to confer more than US$10 billion in subsidies to Intel Corp, people familiar with the matter said, in what would be the largest award yet under a plan to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to US soil. Intel’s award package is expected to include both loans and direct grants, the source said. They stressed that negotiations are still under way. The US Department of Commerce and Intel declined to comment. The incentives would come from the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, which set aside US$39 billion in direct grants as
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that promises to create short videos from simple text commands has raised concerns along with questions from artists and media professionals. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, on Thursday said it was testing a text-to-video model called “Sora” that can allow users to create realistic videos with simple prompts. The San Francisco-based start-up said that Sora can “generate complex scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background,” but added that it still has limitations, such as possibly “mixing up left and right.” Examples of Sora-created clips
Super Micro Computer Inc’s lengthy rally came to a shuddering halt on Friday, with a selloff that derailed what had looked to be the server maker’s best week on record. Shares fell 20 percent, their biggest one-day percentage drop since August last year. The decline comes in the wake of a nine-session run of gains, the longest such streak for the stock since 2016. However, even with the day’s selloff, the stock rose 8.5 percent for the week. Despite Friday’s drop, recent gains show how Super Micro has become one of the hottest names in artificial intelligence (AI). The stock has risen