FTC working on KTV merger
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday told lawmakers that it would work toward giving its approval for merger plans between the nation’s two largest karaoke parlor (KTV) chains, Holiday Entertainment Co (好樂迪) and Cash Box KTV (錢櫃), as long as the companies safeguard the interests of consumers. The regulator said that it would begin the approval process, such as gathering the opinion of stakeholders and holding public hearings. The two karaoke chains have had numerous failed attempts to merge in the past 16 years. Separately yesterday, the regulator said that it would ask Tesla Inc to explain its erratic pricing decisions, after the US electric vehicle maker reversed price cuts and a decision to shutter dealerships, adding that such behavior might be anti-competitive.
Acer pays Microsoft directly
Acer Inc (宏碁) chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) on Tuesday said that the PC maker’s royalty payments to Microsoft Inc are governed by contracts with the US software giant and are not paid by partner original design manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services providers. Chen’s comments came amid a patent dispute between Microsoft and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海) that prompted personal rebukes by Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) earlier that day. Acer pays Microsoft directly to fulfill the conditions of the licensing contracts, Chen said.
FIT launches flagship store
Foxconn Interconnect Technology Ltd (FIT, 鴻騰科技), a Hong Kong-listed affiliate of Hon Hai, yesterday opened its flagship store at Taipei’s Syntrend Creative Park, a shopping complex focused on consumer electronics and tech gadgets. The store showcases new products by FIT’s newly acquired brands, Belkin and Linksys, which Hon Hai in March last year purchased for US$866 million as part of its plans to diversify beyond its core contract manufacturing business and into managing brands for smart home appliances and Internet of Things products for consumers.
PChome Thai gains licenses
PChome Online Inc (網路家庭) on Monday announced that subsidiary PChome Thai has been granted licenses to operate two electronic payment services by Thai regulators. The approvals would allow the company’s customers to make credit and debit card payments, as well as electronic payments and fund transfers, via automated teller machines and mobile phones. PChome Thai said that it is also working on launching before the end of this quarter a payment service that is compatible with popular social media platforms in Thailand, including Instagram and Facebook.
Electronics sector lifts TAIEX
Local shares yesterday closed slightly higher on thin turnover as gains were capped ahead of strong technical resistance at about 10,400 points, dealers said. The bellwether electronics sector remained a driver of the latest upturn as investors took cues from gains posted by tech stocks in the US overnight, while non-high-tech stocks appeared mixed throughout the session, the dealers said. The TAIEX ended up 29.99 points, or 0.29 percent, at 10,373.32, after moving between 10,331.27 and 10,373.32, on turnover of NT$94.36 billion, dropping from turnover of NT$111.14 billion in the previous session.
INVENTORY DOUBLED: Key parts have backed up in warehouses, halting notebook production, as Acer’s CEO said that a gradual reopening would not solve the problem PC vendor Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said that lockdowns in China to control COVID-19 upended key component supply and disrupted PC production, although chip shortages have been improving. While chip supply constraints largely eased in the first quarter, the company faces uneven supplies of key components due to COVID-19 restrictions in China, Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) told an online news conference. “Semiconductor shortage was the biggest problem in the first half of last year,” Chen said. “Now, we are beset by a supply chain issue caused by China's lockdowns.” With key components unable to be delivered and backing up in
MORE THAN BUZZ: The chip designer said it has received numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips, as it works to expand beyond smartphones MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday said it would ship the first 5G chips for vehicles to customers in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year, as it moves to expand the reach of its 5G chips beyond smartphones. The Hsinchu-based chip designer said it has been developing 5G chips for connected vehicles over the past few years, targeting applications such as telematics and in-vehicle information systems. “We are seeing demand for 5G technology from numerous makers of connected cars, including electric vehicle makers. We have obtained numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips with highly integrated features,” J.C. Hsu
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技) yesterday said it would further expand capacity to cope with robust demand for e-paper displays used in e-readers, e-notes and electronic shelf labels, as the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation have not dampened consumer demand. Although rising inflation is weakening companies’ purchasing power, E Ink said that its customers have not scaled down orders for e-paper displays used in e-readers. “Reading is still the most affordable leisure activity that people have,” E Ink CEO Johnson Lee (李政昊) told an online investors’ conference in Taipei. As e-books are less expensive than paper books, “we have so far not seen
Covestro Taiwan Ltd (台灣科思創) yesterday launched a new research and development center that is to specialize in resin synthesis and fiberoptic coating after its parent company, Covestro AG, acquired a resins business from Royal DSM, it said. The German company in September 2020 agreed to buy the resins and functional materials business from Royal DSM for about 1.61 billion euros (US$1.69 billion), corporate data showed. The Dutch company’s local units, such as Covestro Resins (ROA) Ltd (帝昇) and Covestro Resins (Taiwan) Ltd (新力美), are next month to be integrated into Covestro Taiwan Ltd, with their employees continuing resins development, Covestro Taiwan said. The