Taiwan Business in Brief – September 2018

Caption: A GIFT IN WISCONSIN — Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou with University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. Gou has pledged US$100 million toward creation of a technology institute at the school. Photo: Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP

Foxconn Pursues More Wisconsin Initiatives

Foxconn Technology Group, known in Taiwan as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is following up its planned US$10 billion investment in Wisconsin to build an LCD-panel plant with several additional commitments in the Mid-Western state. At a ceremony in late August at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou and university chancellor Rebecca Blank signed an agreement to create a Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology at the school. Gou pledged US$100 million toward the project if the university matches that amount. The institute can be expected to help provide the Foxconn manufacturing venture with trained engineers and technological support.

In addition, Foxconn announced that it will join with three Wisconsin-based companies – Advocate Aurora Health, Johnson Controls International, and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance – to create a US$100 million fund to support technology start-ups anywhere in the world.

FTC, Qualcomm Settle Anti-Trust Suit

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announced in mid-August that it had settled an anti-trust action against Qualcomm, the giant U.S. maker of semiconductors used in mobile phones and other telecom products. It said that instead of the NT$23.4 billion (US$767 million) fine originally imposed on Qualcomm, the company would pay a fine of NT$2.73 billion – but would also carry out a US$700 million five-year investment project in Taiwan. The investment plan was said to cover collaboration in the development of 5G mobile systems, creation of an engineering center, and assistance to start-up enterprises and universities.

Yang Ming Signs Order for 10 Container Ships

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. has contracted with Kaohsiung-based CSBC Corp. Taiwan (the former China Shipbuilding Corp.) to construct 10 container vessels of 2,800 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) each. According to a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing, the price of the new ships will be between US$35 million and US$45 million each, with the vessels to be delivered starting in the second quarter of 2020. “These ships will update our fleet, and provide flexibility and broader service coverage for long-haul and regional services,” Yang Ming said in a statement. “They will also provide efficiency, energy savings and lower unit costs.” A one-time state enterprise, Yang Ming is Taiwan’s second largest container shipping line after Evergreen and the world’s ninth largest.

CPC in Long-Term LNG Supply Deal with U.S. Firm

Taiwan’s state-owned oil company, CPC Corp. Taiwan, has entered into a 25-year contract to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Cheniere Energy Inc., based in Houston, Texas, in a deal estimated to be worth US$25 billion. Starting in 2021, CPC will purchase 2 million tonnes of CPC per year at prices pegged to the Henry Hub monthly average, plus a fee. Cheniere operates the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and is building another terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas. As part of its plan to eliminate nuclear power generation and sharply decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, the Taiwan government is seeking to expand reliance on LNG-fired power plants. The goal is for gas-fired plants to account for half of all power generation, with coal taking 30% and renewable energy 20%.

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