Taiwan Business in Brief – April 2018

Google Invests in Taiwan AI

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., announced March 31 that it would be making extensive investments into Taiwan’s artificial intelligence (AI) development. The company said it would hire at least 300 AI engineers, cultivate 5,000 talent positions, and train more than 50,000 digital marketing personnel in a year. AI-engineering positions will include software, hardware, cloud-computing, and data center engineers, according to Google Taiwan.

Google’s announcement follows the establishment of Microsoft Corp.’s AI R&D center and Amazon Web Services’ joint innovative center earlier this year in Taiwan. Google Taiwan already maintains an extensive R&D center in Taiwan, as well as a data center in Changhua County that is due to be expanded this year.

Google’s initiative will include AI innovation boot camps held in collaboration with National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University, and National Cheng Kung University. Students selected for these camps will have the chance to interface directly with Google’s global AI professionals, bolstering their understanding of real world needs in AI.

Regent, IHG Team Up For Global Scale

Formosa International Hotels Corp. (FIHC) has announced a joint venture with the United Kingdom’s InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to enable the local company’s Regent brand to expand more rapidly internationally. The joint venture will be called Regent Hospitality Worldwide (RHW), with 49% owned by Regent and 51% by IHG. FIHC chairman Steven Pan will serve as chairman of the new company. Under the deal, FIHC will sell a 51% stake in its overseas subsidiary Regent Hotels and Resorts to IHG for US$39 million. The joint venture will reportedly open another 40 hotels in the future.