Displaying items by tag: Taiwan

Taiwanese electronic colossus Foxconn has now admitted that it is currently reassessing its plans to invest in a new $10bn factory in Wisconsin.

When first announced it was hailed as a significant win for US President Donald Trump who had promised rust-belt states that he would breathe new life into the manufacturing sector and create millions of jobs.

However, that deal now may be dead in the water due to the ongoing dispute between Beijing and Washington that is becoming increasingly toxic. 

Foxconn manufactures devices and components for a host of the world’s leading technology leaders including Apple, and had previously unveiled its plans to build the $10 billion plant to make LCD flat screen televisions which would also in turn create around 13,000 new jobs.

The investment was vetoed by $4bn in controversial tax concessions which were embraced by Trump who said the deal was another illustration of his campaign promise which was to put America ‘first’ again. Trump has also tried to strong arm other tech giants like Apple offering them tax breaks if they move manufacturing back to the United States.

Trump appeared with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou at a groundbreaking ceremony proclaiming and stated that, "This is just the beginning. This is one of the largest plants in the world."

However, the global economic climate roiled by Trump's trade war with China where Foxconn has most of its assembly lines -- has led officials at the Taiwanese company to look again at the plans.

"The global market environment that existed when the project was first announced has changed. As our plans are driven by those of our customers, this has necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin," Foxconn said in a statement Thursday.

However, Foxconn has moved swiftly to deny it’s pulling out of the proposed investment and released an official statement saying it is remained committed to building its science park in Wisconsin and wants to help create 13,000 jobs". 

Woo told Bloomberg, "We’re not scrapping our plans at all. However, given the global economic conditions and the trade tensions between China and the US, its’ impossible to say that we can always stay committed to our original plan without any change."

Published in Government

Qualcomm announced that the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) has reached a decision in a TFTC investigation, stating in a press release that certain of the company’s business practices are in violation of Taiwanese competition law and imposing a fine of approximately $23.4 billion Taiwan dollars (approximately $773 million US dollars at current exchange rates).

The TFTC claimed that “in spite of its monopoly in the baseband chip markets of cellular standards such as CDMA, WCDMA and LTE etc., [Qualcomm] refused to license chip competitors, demanded the restrictive provisions be imposed and that no chip would be provided without a license agreement executed, and entered into clauses with specific enterprises providing for rebates in exchange for exclusive dealing etc.”

According to the FTC, investigations of the present case were initiated in mid-February, 2015. Taiwan is a major country in the production and marketing of mobile phones, with a complete supply chain involving multiple facets from the manufacture of chips, mobile phone OEM, and production and marketing of mobile phone brands.

As such, the investigations at least covered a total of 20-plus enterprises, consisting of domestic and foreign manufacturers of mobile phones (including OBMs and OEMs), chip suppliers, and communication equipment enterprises.

Qualcomm said it disagrees with the decision summarized in the TFTC’s press release and intends to seek to stay any required behavioral measures and appeal the decision to the Taiwanese courts after receiving the TFTC’s formal decision, which is expected in the next several weeks.

The fine bears no rational relationship to the amount of Qualcomm’s revenues or activities in Taiwan, and Qualcomm will appeal the amount of the fine and the method used to calculate it, the company said in a press release.

Published in Finance

Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platforms support the world’s first commercial smartphone to feature Gigabit LTE, the company announced on Sept. 21. Qualcomm technology powers Taiwanese company ASUS’s ZenFone 4 Pro smartphone with gigabit connectivity and multi-gigabit Wi-Fi, delivering an ultra-fast virtually seamless gigabit experience.  

Integrated into the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform, the Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem will give the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro the ability to execute fast download speeds over 4G LTE, on a compatible LTE network, and superior signal quality with Qualcomm® TruSignal™ dual-antenna technology for extended coverage.

Qualcomm Technologies’ 11ad Wi-Fi allows users to download and share 4k videos in seconds, sync their photos, videos and other files with super fast speed, and enjoy quick access to cloud services. Moreover, when users connect other devices, such as laptops, with the phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot feature, the Snapdragon mobile platform is designed to provide end-to-end gigabit wireless connectivity with 802.11ad access and Gigabit LTE backhaul, on a compatible network, even in crowded places such as airports.

Like the upcoming 5G New Radio (NR) standard, 11ad utilizes the mmWave spectrum – in this case, the 60 GHz band— tapping into a massive amount of data-carrying capacity that complements existing cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Additionally, ZenFone 4 Pro users will get robust Wi-Fi connectivity using Qualcomm Technologies’ integrated 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO technology, which offers twice as much throughput as 1x1 Wi-Fi and improved coverage, especially in buildings with brick or concrete walls.

In addition to unprecedented gigabit connectivity, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro takes advantage of the integrated Qualcomm Spectra™ 180 Image Signal Processor (ISP) offering dual 14-bit image signal processing and features the latest generation of Qualcomm® Adreno™ 540 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), accelerating the smartphone’s enhanced imaging experience and allowing users to enjoy a 360-degree immersive visual capture experience.

“We are thrilled to bring lightning fast connectivity, and innovative new imaging technology to the ASUS ZenFone 4 family of smartphones in Europe with our Snapdragon Mobile Platforms,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, QCT. “With the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro, powered by our Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform, users will have the ability to experience, multi gigabit speeds indoors and gigabit speeds on-the-go.”

Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Mobile Platforms will also support the new ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Selfie series, including the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Powered by the latest Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the ASUS ZenFone 4 delivers fast performance with extended battery life, while the Snapdragon 625 Mobile Platform with 4GB RAM will bring smooth and responsive camera performance to the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Finally, Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon 430 Mobile Platform powers the ZenFone 4 Selfie, with a triple-slot tray for dual data connections with speeds up to 150Mbps.

Published in Devices

Ride-sharing app service Uber has responded to a one-month ban in the Philippines by appealing to authorities on August 15. The company resumed services as it waited for a decision, Reuters reported. The suspension is one of many issues the Californian firm has faced recently, including controversy surrounding its former CEO Travis Kalanick.

Uber’s services in the Philippines were halted on August 14 by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) because the company ignored an order to stop accepting new driver applications. Despite the ban, Uber maintains a strong following in the country. Citizens lashed out at authorities on social media calling for Uber to continue its services.

The Philippines lacks in areas of reliable and competitive public transport, hence Uber’s popularity on the island nation. The company said it had the right to due process in its appeal to the LTFRB, and wanted a stay of implementation of the suspension.

Uber posted on Facebook, “This means that Uber’s operations will continue until the motion is resolved.” It added: “Over the course of this morning, tens of thousands of riders were left stranded, causing needless inconvenience, while drivers were unable to access the earning opportunities they rely on.”

Uber, one of the world’s most affluent startups valued at upwards of $60 billion, has faced a number of controversies over the past year. Taiwan banned the service for two months at the beginning of 2017, and Uber was only granted permission to continue serving the capital city Taipei by using licensed commercial drivers, rather than its usual private drivers.

A statement on Uber’s website in April it said would now be “partnering with licensed rental car companies to resume serving riders in Taipei… after constructive talks with transportation authorities.” Uber Taiwan’s General Manager, Likai Gu, said the company wants to “partner with more legal transportation service partners in weeks and months to come.”

Uber’s controversy in Taiwan began in 2016 after authorities claimed it was operating unlawfully. Taxi companies are legally required to be domestically owned and operated under Taiwanese law. The company was then forced to suspend its services, after police spent months cracking down on Uber drivers in Taipei.

In the Philippines, the LTFRB stopped accepting and processing applications for all ride-sharing services in 2016, including Uber, to study further how to regulate the industry. Controversy ignited when Uber admitted it was still accepting new driver applications because of strong demand, despite not processing them.

LTFRB responded by suspending Uber’s services, due to the “irresponsible” behavior of Uber in “unduly challenging the limit of fair regulation” by ignoring the LTFRB’s instructions and continuing to accept driver applications.

In Uber’s defense, Grace Poe, a senator and strong advocate for improving transport services in the Philippines, said the LTFRB’s suspension of Uber was “cruel and absurd.” She claimed that suspending the service “further exacerbates the problem of having an utter lack of safe, reliable and convenient transportation options” for the people of the Philippines.

Uber also faced backlash in Europe recently, when Madrid authorities in Spain asked the anti-trust watchdog to investigate whether the company’s new cheap airport transfer service had broken competition rules.

The competition regulator, CNMC, called for the government to lift a ban on Uber last year. But Uber’s new airport service reignited scrutiny, since it offers a tariff of 15-19 euros for a ride between Madrid’s Barajas international airport and the city center, which is cheaper than the standard fixed taxi rate of 30 euros. 

“[Uber Airport] could violate several articles of the Law of Unfair Competition and consumer rights, if it is proven that the service is being operated at prices below operational costs with the sole intention of gaining customers through unfair competition,” said the Madrid City Council in a statement.

In Spain, taxi drivers have gone on strike three times this year, according to reports, arguing that ride-hailing apps like Uber, which are regulated under VTC licenses (an authorization to rent vehicles with driver), often used for private chauffer services, constitute unfair competition because they do not meet the current regulations and pay less tax than taxi services. 

There are currently more than 2,000 VTC-licensed taxis in Madrid, the only Spanish city where Uber is currently active, and about 15,000 traditional taxis, according to figures from the Ministry of Public Works. The European Court of Justice recently ruled that Uber should be defined as a transport service rather than an app.

Internally, Uber’s stability has been rocked by the sensational resignation former chief executive, Travis Kalanick. The co-founder stepped down in late June under increased pressure from investors who raised concerns about his leadership. A growing momentum of voices demanded changes at the helm, and it was the call from investors that ultimately forced Kalanick to concede that his position was untenable. 

One of Uber’s early investors, venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, has accused Kalanick of conspiring to return to his role as CEO. The firm gave Uber and Kalanick a month to review its recommendations on August 14 before filing a lawsuit the week before to force Kalanick off the company’s board and remove the ability for him to return, Reuters said. Kalanick fired back in defense claiming he’s working with the board to place a new chief executive.

“I am disappointed and baffled by Benchmark's hostile actions, which clearly are not in the best interests of Uber and its employees on whose behalf they claim to be acting,” Kalanick said in a statement.

Benchmark Capital, which owns 13 percent of Uber and controls 20 percent of the voting power, claimed in the lawsuit, “Indeed, it has appeared at times as if the search [for a new CEO] was being manipulated to deter candidates and create a power vacuum in which Travis could return.”

Founded in 2009, Uber has been a pioneer in the sharing economy. But the company has also been the subject of various protests and legal actions, and was even subject to an investigation of a former employee accused of engaging in sexual harassment. Some analysts claim the organization embodies many of co-founder Kalanick’s pugnacious personality traits. 

Published in Reports

Qualcomm has released additional findings of a landmark study, The 5G Economy. The new research, conducted by leading industry and economic analysis firm IHS Markit, examines the potential economic impact of 5G for the Taiwan market.

IHS Markit research indicates that 5G represents an outstanding opportunity for Taiwan, currently the major supplier of component, semiconductor and contract manufacturing services to the Information and Telecommunications Technology (ICT) sector, to move beyond its traditional role by focusing on additional areas higher up in the value chain.

Under the existing industrial structure and policy environment, 5G holds the potential to unleash $134 billion in gross output of goods and services and support 510,000 Taiwanese jobs in 2035, according to IHS Markit.

Taiwan is well positioned, the study claims, to play a vital role in the emerging global 5G supply chain and many Taiwanese firms are investing in 5G, particularly in applications built for Massive IoT (MIoT). However, the study found Taiwan will need policies that encourage innovation and investment in higher-value aspects of the 5G value chain to stimulate additional output and employment.

“These respected researchers confirmed our strong belief that 5G will be a fundamental game changer,” said Jim Cathey, senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific and India, Qualcomm International, Inc. 

“The ‘5G Economy’ study also reinforces our confidence in the tremendous opportunity for further collaborations with the mobile ecosystem in Taiwan. Together with our Taiwanese partners we will continue to accelerate and drive the future of 5G technology in IoT, mobile and compute, enabling Taiwan to access the global economic benefits of 5G.”

Jim Diffley, vice president of IHS Markit and chief economist of IHS U.S. Regional Services Group, said: “As a regional technology hub, Taiwan has played an important role in the spread of mobile technologies globally in recent decades. The $134 billion in 5G-related gross output that Taiwan will directly and indirectly support by 2035 indicates that Taiwan has the opportunity to pursue economic growth strategies that are consistent with its Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan.”

These new findings on 5G’s economic impact on Taiwan are an expansion of the landmark ‘5G Economy’ global research study announced by Qualcomm in January 2017 and can be found here: https://www.qualcomm.com.tw/invention/5g

Published in Internet of Things

Ericsson will build a Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) system for Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan’s largest integrated telecommunications services company, enabling the island to take its first steps toward joining the Internet of Things (IoT). Chunghwa Telecom will use the system to trial a range of IoT devices and applications in its laboratory.

NB-IoT is a 3GPP standards-based Low Power Wide Area technology that offers significant improvements in areas such as deep indoor coverage, power consumption, device complexity, system capacity and spectrum efficiency.

The end-to-end NB-IoT solution developed for Chunghwa Telecom will comprise a range of Ericsson offerings including the Ericsson Radio System, Massive IoT radio access network (RAN) software, virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC), virtual Subscriber Data Management (vSDM), and the IoT Smart Device and Application service on the AppIoT platform. The vEPC is deployed as a dedicated IoT Packet Core, using network slicing functionality, enabling Chunghwa Telecom to explore massive machine type communications use cases and rapidly bring new services to market.

Chen Shyang-Yih, Executive Vice President of Chunghwa Telecom and President of Telecommunication Laboratories, said: “Ericsson has long been our leading network provider and has demonstrated the strong device life-cycle management and integration capabilities that are required for a system of this type. NB-IoT technology is one of our primary focuses in 2017, and we are keen to explore more opportunities based on the new technology.”

Håkan Cervell, President of Ericsson Taiwan, said: “This agreement represents a real milestone for both companies, and shows that we have made rapid progress since signing a 5G memorandum of understanding during Mobile World Congress 2017. Together we will identify 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industry verticals such as transportation and utilities.”

Published in Telecom Operators

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and Caton Technology Corp. (Caton), a technology provider of advanced video transmission and managed file transfer solutions, will work together to deliver to international viewers the exciting 29th Summer Universiade, a global student sporting and cultural event to be hosted by Taipei, Taiwan in August.

Licenced broadcasters at the games will be able to contribute and distribute their live videos and big media files seamlessly from the International Broadcasting Center back to their home countries via the integrated delivery solution provided by this collaboration.

PCCW Global and Caton will jointly deliver new, innovative, cost-effective, and reliable services that redefine the workflow for global media contributions and distributions. PCCW Global will integrate Caton’s professional video transmission and managed file transfer solutions using Caton’s Real-Time Transport Protocol (R2TP*) and Fast Files Transfer Protocol (F2TP*) technologies, into PCCW Global’s reliable Global Television Network (GTVN) and Global Internet Access (GIA) networks.

These innovative technologies and service solutions will be installed and utilized at the 2017 Summer Universiade, a major international event staged every two years. Second only to the Olympic Games in significance and prestige, the Universiade covers 12 days of sporting competition, allowing university student-athletes from all over the world to celebrate with the host city in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. This year’s competition will involve a total of 22 sports and 270 gold medal events. More than 150 countries are expected to participate in the Summer Universiade, confirming its status as a major media event with global connections.

Mr. Jordick Wong, Senior Vice President, Product and Vendor Management, PCCW Global, said, “We are extremely excited about our collaboration with Caton, which gives us another opportunity to serve international broadcasters with our robust global fiber infrastructure which delivers 99.999% service availability to our customers. By integrating Caton’s R2TP and F2TP technologies with our GTVN and Tier 1 GIA network, we are able to provide services with a perfect balance of cost, quality, reliability, and lead-time for live video signal and large media file delivery over the Internet.”

Mr. Eric Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer, Caton Technology Corp., said, “In 2011, Caton foresaw the need for dramatic improvements in how we support the surging demand of video on the Internet. We developed R2TP and F2TP technologies to enable more flexible, stable and reliable transmission even under the most demanding conditions. Now, building on our long standing partnership with PCCW Global, our combined solution will provide additional capacity, reliability and security to the global market.”

These integrated solutions are now available from PCCW Global and ready to service world class sports events, such as the Universiade, other live events, and worldwide media content contributions and distributions.

Published in Telecom Operators

Uber drivers protested in Taiwan circling the country's transport ministry on February 10 after the ride-hailing company halted its operations in the island nation following an impasse with the government of Taiwan which deems the service illegal.

Uber announced that it would be suspending its services in Taiwan after the government raised the maximum penalty for Uber drivers to Tw$25 million ($804,000) which is the highest in the world. Taiwan's Transport Ministry said it was preparing to charge Uber Tw$230 million in penalties for operating in the country illegally.

This is the latest in a string of fines Uber has received for running a business without the proper registration to operate as a taxi service since it penetrated the Taiwan market in 2013. In protest of the Transport Ministry's actions, about 200 cars labeled with ribbons and Uber stickers, circled the ministry in downtown Taipei, according to a group of drivers who organized the protest.

A single mother from Taiwan, Fiona Yang, 38, spoke to AFP news agency, about how Uber had been her main source of income for the past two years as she juggles earning a living and raising two children.

"I can understand why they had to suspend operations; the penalties are outrageous," Yand said. "It has a big impact on me. How am I going to raise my kids?" Yang asked.

Uber said it's hoping the suspended operations in Taiwan will prompt action from President Tsai Ing-wen, who is pushing for the country to have its own "Asian Silicon Valley". In a statement Uber said: "The current regulatory environment makes it impossible to serve the island the way we know works best."

The company also faced suspension in Hungary last July due to new legislation that stops drivers from making money with their own vehicles. Traditional taxi drivers have condemned Uber over safety concerns and questions over legal issues, including taxes. But Uber insists it is a platform connecting drivers and passengers, not a transport business like taxi firms.

Published in Apps
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 06:14

Qualcomm signs MoU with Taiwan’s MOEA for IoT

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qualcomm that, according ta report in Focus Taiwan, will accelerate Taiwan's pace in developing mobile communications as well as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Under the MoU Taiwan and Qualcomm will work on 4G and 5G communications and IoT development, helping Taiwan set up supply chains in these areas, the MOEA said.

Qualcomm has also agreed to establish a new testing laboratory and a technology development team in Taiwan, a move that is expected to provide Taiwan-based Internet and communications firms with technology assistance, Focus Taiwan reported.

Qualcomm has also promised to allow Taiwan's Internet and communications sector to use its worldwide technology network to market their products and solutions in the global market, the ministry said.

According to Focus Taiwan, Vice Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin said that before signing the MOU, Taiwan and Qualcomm had set up a long term partnership, and the new accord showed the country's determination to build itself into a Silicon Valley in Asia by expanding research and development ties with the U.S. firm.

According to the MOEA, the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), local original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, Internet network operators and Internet solution providers will join Qualcomm for future R&D.

Qualcomm’s failed Taiwan foray

Qualcomm has a relationship with MOEA going back to at least 2011, when Qualcomm MEMS Technologies announced a collaboration with MOEA to expand the manufacturing capacity of mirasol displays in Taiwan with the construction of a new fabrication facility in Longtan.  It said the initial phase of the facility was expected to result in up to $975 million US of investment by Qualcomm.

Qualcomm MEMS Technologies claimed to have developed the industry’s first micro-electrical mechanical system (MEMS) display for mobile devices, described as “a true technological innovation that offers low power consumption and superb viewing quality in a wide range of environmental conditions, including bright sunlight … by reflecting light using interfoermetric modulation (IMOD) so that specific wavelengths interfere with each other to create color.”

However, the potential for this technology in mobile devices is yet to be realized. Apple took over Qualcomm’s Taiwan mirasol lab in 2015, according to a Bloomberg report. Since then there has been much speculation as to when, or if, Apple will use mirasol technology in displays for its portable devices.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Sigfox, the French company promoting a proprietary low powered wide area network technology for IoT, has announced the launch of a network in Taiwan along with an IoT test bed, saying the move will help its global expansion plans.

Sigfox partners are already rolling out networks in 22 countries, four in Asia Pacific. The Taiwan network will be rolled out by UnaBiz, the company that three weeks ago announced plans to roll out a Sigfox network in Singapore. It expects to have coverage of Taiwan’s six largest cities or districts, containing half the country’s population of 23.5 million, by mid 2017 and nationwide coverage of Taiwan by early 2018.

Sigfox said the network would “provide global IoT connectivity to Taiwan’s huge electronics manufacturing industry and demonstrate multiple applications and use cases,” and “provide to Sigfox the benefits of Taiwanese design and manufacturing expertise as it scales globally.”

Sigfox CEO, Ludovic Le Moan said: “This collaboration between Taiwanese electronics companies, which are among the most competitive and efficient in the world, and Sigfox will strengthen the Sigfox ecosystem as it speeds learning and the implementation of IoT design and use cases. It also will provide demonstrations of how Sigfox’s seamless IoT network can foster unprecedented industrial manufacturing efficiencies that could benefit companies everywhere.”

UnaBiz CEO, Henri Bong, said: “This extension to Taiwan is key in our regional development strategy, because Taiwan has the largest ecosystem of devices and solutions to accelerate the adoption of IoT use cases globally.”

Published in Internet of Things
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