Taiwan News: HTC Layoffs, Taiwan Sill Seeking China Talks

Taiwan News: HTC Layoffs, Taiwan Sill Seeking China Talks
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像

What you need to know

Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

HTC, the Taiwan-based consumer electronics company, is set to lay off a quarter of its staff, describing the move the move as aimed at optimizing resources through a "strategic adjustment of its workforce."

A total of 1,500 employees will be affected and they are all part of the company's manufacturing operations in Taiwan.

According to HTC, the layoffs are scheduled to be completed by the end of September and it has submitted a layoff report to labor authorities in Taoyuan, where the company is based.

The announcement comes after HTC released a strategic plan earlier this year that was focused on streamlining its organizational structure worldwide in a bid to return to profitability.

HTC had about 6,450 employees worldwide as of June.

The company posted NT$13 billion (US$425 million) in consolidated sales in the first five months of this year, down nearly 44 percent from a year earlier. In the first quarter, HTC completed the sale part of its smartphone assets to Google for US$1.1 billion. Much of its hopes for driving revenue this year rest on the success of its U12+ phone, released in May

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Photo Credit: Chiang Ying-ying/AP/達志影像
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, left, boards a Kidd-class destroyer during a navy exercise in the bound of Suao naval station in Yilan County, northeast of Taiwan, Friday, April 13, 2018.

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong has said his office will continue to seek a meeting between President Tsai Ing-wen and China's President Xi Jinping.

Chen says the government firmly believes the two sides should sit down for face-to-face talks "without preconditions."

While China has yet to respond to any requests for talks, Chen suggested Beijing is certainly aware of the Tsai administration's wishes for the two heads of state to meet.

The statement comes after Tsai told AFP in a recent interview that she believes other countries should join Taiwan to stand-up to China in an effort to protect the world from Beijing's plans for expansion.

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Groups leading lawsuits against Radio Corporation of America (RCA) of the U.S. and its successive parent companies for the pollution they caused in Taiwan are urging more former employees to join the campaign.

According to the RCA Self-Help Association, all former employees can apply to join the association from this Saturday as the number of ex-RCA workers in the two lawsuits currently being heard account for only a small fraction of its total employees.

The first lawsuit against RCA, a consumer appliance maker, in the United States was brought by 529 former RCA workers in 2004 and it is now pending in the Taiwan Supreme Court, which is set to deliver its final ruling on August 16.

In October 2017, the Taiwan High Court awarded more than NT$700 million to 486 former RCA workers and their family members who were exposed to toxins at the RCA factory in Taoyuan County.

Meanwhile, the other lawsuit was filed at Taipei District Court in 2016 by another 1,100 former RCA workers and that case is still being deliberated at the lower court level.

The Legal Aid Foundation, which has formed a pro-bono legal team to help former RCA workers, says RCA employed about 80,000 workers at its four plants here in Taiwan from between 1970 and 1992.

RCA工殤案勞資訴訟
Photo Credit:關鍵評論網 李秉芳攝
Various workers groups protest against Radio Corp. of America's negligence in exposing workers and the environment to toxic pollution.

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Former Tainan county commissioner Su Huan-zhi has announced that he will run as an independent candidate for Tainan City mayor in November's local election.

Speaking to reporters, Su said he decided to run as an independent because he believes he is the best candidate for Tainan's top job due to his familiarity with the city.

Su quit the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in March and had at the time hinted that he planned to run for Taipei mayor.

However, he said he opted instead to return to the southern city of Tainan as media attention in the capital is only focusing on the campaigns of incumbent mayor Ke Wen-je and the DPP and Kuomintang (KMT) candidates.

Su will be facing DPP nominee Huang Wei-zhi, the KMT's Gao Si-bo and independent candidate Hsu Chong-hsin in the Tainan mayoral race this November.

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The Mainland Affairs Council has said a Chinese reporter who was been denied a re-entry permit will be allowed to re-apply, as long as he refrains from making-up bogus stories.

The statement is in reference to Yeh Qing-lin, a reporter with Fujian-based China Southeast Television.

Yeh was denied an permit to re-enter Taiwan following a report he made about the Hualien earthquake in February.

Council Minister Chen Ming-tong says the the report posted by Yeh on his Facebook page claimed that "a Japanese rescue team refused to enter the disaster area out of fear of danger."

The council said the report was untrue and solely aimed at triggering a dispute with Japan.

The government has said it declined the Japanese team's offer of assistance because an assessment at the time showed that there were enough search and rescue personnel operating in areas affected by the quake.

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1024px-Kaohsiung
Photo Credit: Matt's Life CC BY 2.0
Glorious Kaohsiung.

The APEC O2O Summit 2018 continues in Kaohsiung today, with delegates seeking to promote digital transformation through online to offline (O2O) services in cooperation with Southeast Asian countries.

Economics Minister Chen Rong-jin said he hopes small- and medium-sized enterprises here in Taiwan will be using the summit as a platform to boost international exchanges and enhance their digital competitiveness through digital transformation.

Ten startups from the Asia-Pacific region are attending the summit as they look to hook up with more than 50 local startups in the fields of fintech, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and augmented and virtual reality applications.

The summit is being organized by the Kaohsiung Economic Development Bureau.

And according to the bureau, governmental officials and representatives of multinational corporations from the U.S. and 20 Asia-Pacific economies are also taking part in the two-day summit.

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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.


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