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Monday, March 24, 2008

Taiwan Wants to Focus on Building Its Own High-Tech Brands

Slashdot It! Mike Liang earns the equivalent of $37,500 a year, owns a four-bedroom apartment and can afford to send his two daughters to English tutorial schools. Like other employees at the Hsinchu Science Park, Mr. Liang, a marketing manager for a semiconductor company, is the envy of many on this island, where average annual salaries stagnate at around $17,000 and high property prices keep many married couples living with their parents. But what is on Mr. Liang’s mind and that of many others in Taiwan’s high-technology industry is how it can maintain success amid growing competition from neighbors, including China and South Korea, and global price declines in products like laptop computers. The slower growth rate in sales of some high-tech goods and the economic downturn in the United States are also worries. Many industry workers and analysts say the greatest economic challenge for Taiwan and its 23 million people is overcoming its reliance on manufacturing for other brands and focusing on innovation and building its own brands. “We have to transform ourselves,” Mr. Liang said during a lunch break. “Otherwise, our costs will keep going up and companies will move to China and Vietnam.” High-tech products accounted for 70 percent of the island’s 2007 exports. Taiwan is the world’s largest supplier of notebook PCs, and liquid-crystal-display panels for flat-screen televisions, according to the government. Two of the world’s biggest contract microchip makers are based in Taiwan — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and the United Microelectronics Corporation — and their foundries, the world’s two biggest, are based in the science park, one of three on the island. Via NYT Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

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