TSMC has revealed its smart manufacturing weapons for the first time. In an exclusive interview with CommonWealth, a top TSMC executive explains how the semiconductor powerhouse has used AI and machine learning to make chips faster than anybody else and achieve consistency across its 13 fabs.
How did a long-established Taiwanese corporation use AI to rescue one of the top Australian supermarket chains? Coming off six years in the red, AOpen, which built its business on computer peripherals like optical drives and motherboards, made the difficult transition into the AI realm. Following Acer’s 2018 acquisition of a majority stake, AOpen moved quickly into the digital signage and visual recognition fields, taking on orders from major US- and Europe-based chains to become Acer’s potential-rich ace in the hole.
As entrepreneurs weigh their options for relocating production lines and local supply chains, Vietnam seems quite attractive. “In the eyes of many entrepreneurs the trade war has turned Vietnam into the new China.”
Millions of people in the developed world already live in a de facto cashless society. From the smart watch on your wrist to the contactless card in your wallet, being able to pay for small, everyday items without recourse to cash is fast, easy, and increasingly ubiquitous.
In the midst of the U.S.-China trade war, Taiwan’s electronic industry has seen the largest wave of repatriation in its history. The server industry has re-established its base in the Greater Taoyuan-Hsinchu region, and Taiwan’s data security and technological knowhow have become critical in this “new technology Cold War.” What sort of impact will this mass relocation of the computer industry have on Taiwan’s economy? And does it signal Made in Taiwan’s return to glory?
A pop-up restaurant in Tokyo has run a trial employing disabled people to work as waiting staff. But this is no ordinary trial. Instead of taking orders or clearing tables themselves, the staff of the Dawn ver.β cafe were piloting a team of robots from the comfort of their homes.
The Taiwanese bicycle industry has been in a slump for the past two years, but now there is a ray of hope. By adding a motor and a computer, your bike is now smarter, better, faster, stronger—and many times more expensive, with price tags going above 3,000 US dollars. They are rolling off the racks like hot cakes, and the winds of change are breathing life into the Taiwanese bicycle supply chain.
The computer virus attack at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in early August was the largest information security breach in Taiwanese history. It fully exposed the information security weaknesses at production plants as the manufacturing industry embraces the fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, with increasing automation and data exchange.
The Taichung World Flora Exposition opened on Nov. 3, and its centerpiece is a 15-meter tall mechanical flower. The creation of innovative artists and nine suppliers, it symbolizes Taiwan’s soft power and a sea change in its manufacturing sector.
Mobile multimedia surpassed half the entire world’s mobile data traffic in 2012, and is expected to increase to 78 percent by 2021. But does your video cut out when you’re on your mobile phone? A group of 100 professionals based in Taipei, working to resolve Internet congestion since 2012, finally won orders this year from the likes of Alibaba, iQiyi, and NHK to help make video live streaming supersonic.
Around the world, technological innovation is disrupting the financial sector, sparking countries to incubate fintech startups to ensure global competitiveness. The online payment tool TapPay, which made it into the ranks of the world’s leading 100 financial technology companies in late 2017, is all the rage in Taiwan’s startup incubator and consulting circles yet virtually unknown among consumers.
Recent international media reports have revealed the depths of China’s surveillance and social credit system, like something out of the dystopian science fiction series Black Mirror. Just this July, Singapore was the target of the worst cyber attack in its history, resulting in the compromise of over a million patients’ records. When the development of smart cities is completed, what kind of future will we face?
Taiwanese LCD display makers generate large volumes of scrap screens that have been buried in landfills or crushed into pellets for use in construction. But Taiwan’s ITRI has stunned the world by finding a way to bring discarded panels back to life.
The Android operating system (OS) was born into a fragmented smartphone world filled with infant OS competitors fighting for dominance. Remember Symbian, which ran on millions of Nokia phones? Of course there was Blackberry, a company that in 2010 boasted more market share than iOS. This is the story of how Android managed to take over the smartphone market.
The electric car market is growing. Last year, global sales of electric vehicles had passed a million units. It is estimated to rise to 4.5 million units by 2020. On the other hand, this growing market for electric cars may be causing harm to people in one of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
China is aiming to become the leading power in the industry of AI. From last year alone, its AI industry had grown 67%. With two thirds of global investment in artificial intelligence goes to China, being one of the biggest AI companies in China is closely equivalent to becoming the top AI company on a global scale. Here are the top five biggest AI companies in China.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most groudbreaking new technologies. Now it is already being used in various medical fields. Here are seven examples that offer a glimpse into our medical future with AI.
Chinese crypto media, capital and social communities are joining hands, moving their speculative frameworks to Taiwan after being purged from China. If they reenact their pump and dump schemes in Taiwan, taking the money and running, investors could lose their shirts, and the future of Taiwan’s blockchain industry could be thrown into jeopardy.
In the two months since Taiwan Semiconductor Chairman Morris Chang’s retirement, TSMC’s stock has unexpectedly soared by 26 percent. Having shaken off its two chief competitors, Intel and GlobalFoundries, what is next for TSMC? Mark Liu’s first public speech since taking on the company’s top position may hold some clues.
Emerging first-tier cities, Shifting work preference for Chinese millennials, quantum technology, yellow delivering robots, internet market expansion... Here are six things that surprise us about China in August.
Having troubles choosing your outfit? This AI system jointly developed by the University of California, San Diego, and Adobe Research is capable of inventing new outfits based on personal fashion preferences.
Fusion, a research project led by Yamen Saraiji from the Keio University Graduate School of Media Design, aims to utilize robotic arms for human enhancement. However, this classic idea of robotic arms has an odd twist: The two extra arms are controlled by someone other than the user.
Tokyo could become the first mega city in the world to allow drone delivery. Industrial IoT is projected to add nearly $1 trillion to Japan’s GDP by 2030. Healthcare is looking at precision medicine to help treat cancer.
Living in a hot and humid climate makes air-conditioning a necessity. Yet as people are buying into AC units with average efficiencies of less than half of what is available on the market, energy demand for ACs is expected to triple by 2050.
He has turned rice husks into clothing, and kitchen waste into business cards. From furniture at European Starbucks stores to a mobile upcycling unit on the Tibetan Plateau, he is all about exploiting the capitalist production system to make recycling sexy.
Two years ago, the theft of millions from hacked First Commercial Bank ATMs shocked Taiwan. Earlier this year, the ringleader of the cybercrime syndicate was finally arrested in Spain. It became known only after the case was solved that Taiwan played a crucial role in tracking down the international hacker ring that had infiltrated more than 100 banks around the globe, stealing about NT$36 billion.
While AI has opened up a wealth of promising opportunities, it has also led to a mindset that can be best described as "AI solutionism". This is the attitude that, given enough data, machine learning algorithms can solve all of humanity’s problems. How should we view this idea?
The World Health Organisation is to include “gaming disorder”, the inability to stop gaming, into the International Classification of Diseases. By doing so, the WHO is recognising the serious and growing problem of digital addiction.
For many people whose jobs primarily involve routine tasks, artificial intelligence can seem like a terrifying threat. That especially applies to taxi drivers as AI-powered self-driven cars take to the roads. Is there a way out for them?
Four years ago, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi entered the Indian market, where it went up against the seemingly impenetrable market leader Samsung. In just two years, it became the leading smartphone brand in India, commanding over 30 percent market share. What lessons does Xiaomi’s sweeping success have for Taiwanese firms?
In the startup scene, advice is typically given to avoid creating a platform because conditions are harsh and survival prospects slim. But John Sie, a former Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group employee, along with a fellow student founded software-as-a-service platform Accupass. Their startup not only managed to survive lethal competition in China where Internet startups go bust in droves, but Acupass even evolved into the biggest cross-strait event-hosting platform. How did Sie achieve this formidable feat?
Microsoft recently announced that its voice-activated personal assistant, Cortana, the key to the company’s AI strategy, would be integrated with Amazon’s Alexa in a cross-platform partnership. In mid May, the driving force behind Cortana, Mike Calcagno, appeared at Taiwan AI Labs, founded by PTT bulletin board inventor Ethan Tu. The two former Microsoft colleagues joining forces is expected to be a shot in the arm to Taiwan’s efforts to develop AI technology.
“We achieved 99.7% facial recognition accuracy from online video, drawing from the Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) database. This approximated the results achieved by China using 200 million datasets,” says Taiwan AI Labs founder Ethan Tu. Described as “the villagers’ creator,” Tu returned to Taiwan after years at Microsoft to assemble a crack team of professionals for his smart cities AI lab.
China has shown a willingness to do whatever it takes to become an electronics superpower, including trading market access for technology. But the strategy has so far fallen short in boosting leading Chinese wafer foundry SMIC. Why is that?
We are used to the erosion of low paid jobs.Yet new forms of technology and automation are also making more highly qualified professionals obsolete. What are the “mega-trends” in our evolving job market?
Huge investment is going into digital technology. Some fear this won't boost productivity as much as the steam engine, the assembly line, or the computer did in previous waves of technical change. Others are more optimistic. New research from the World Economic Forum and Accenture suggests there’s room for hope.
At the age of 20, Jeffrey Huang was the oldest member of L.A. Boyz, a hugely popular trio that took Taiwan by storm with their American-style hip hop, rap, and dancing. Now in his mid-40s, Huang has become a serial crossover business entrepreneur. From performing on stage to founding businesses behind the scenes, how has Huang adjusted?
Glitzy high-tech advances often capture the spotlight in the semiconductor industry. But it has been somewhat unsung back-end innovations that have helped TSMC leave its two biggest rivals lagging behind.
After a crucial board meeting on April 18, Asustek Computer Inc. (ASUS) Chairman Jonney Shih announced that he would stay at the helm of the computer manufacturer while Jonathan Tsang, Asus’ largest shareholder, would stay on as president. Shih’s announcement put an end to the persistent rumor that he would retire in June. How will Asus steer through this transition?
The usage of robot workers continues to rise. According to a report from International Federation of Robotics, South Korea has the highest density of automation in the world. On the other hand, Taiwan ranked 4th among the Asian countries.
Automation could eliminate millions of jobs globally. Recently, robotics and tech leaders have warned about the risks posed by AIs and stressed the importance of a code of ethics regarding AI. How can robots and humans live in harmony?
Platinum Optics Technology is not publicly listed and avoids attention, but it has penetrated Apple’s supply chain by mastering a niche technology. The company’s founder recently gave us a rare glimpse into how this optics upstart was built.
At the just-concluded Tokyo Motorcycle Show, Taiwan’s largest conventional scooter maker Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd (Kymco) premiered its new battery technology eco-system, called Ionex. With what it calls its “game-changing” new system, Kymco hopes to sell e-scooters made in Taiwan around the globe.
In a polarized world where Internet flame wars break out in an instant and reports of “fake news” permeate the media, people retreat to places where they feel safe and respected, leading to echo chambers where only similar views - some quite extreme - are prevalent. How can we burst these bubbles and bring people closer together?
We hear the word “innovation” all the time. It has become such a buzzword that we forget what it means. For some people, innovation means building the next Facebook. For others, it’s a new way to cook an omelette. For the purposes of this article, let’s break innovation down into two general categories:
Ennoconn Corporation, a member of the Hon Hai/ Foxconn Technology Group, is steadily closing in on Taiwanese industrial computer manufacturer Advantech Co. Ltd., threatening to replace it as the global No. 1. How does Advantech plan to win this battle?
Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou is pressing forward with the first 10.5-generation flat panel display plant to be built on American soil. Considering the challenges, does the gambit make strategic sense?
The Taiwanese live streaming platform "17 Media,” co-founded by Taiwanese rapper Jeffrey Huang of the hip-hop group Machi, successfully entered Japan last year and is now looking to South Korea and the United States. What is the secret to standing out in the hotly contested live streaming market?
Most consumer electronics manufacturing has moved out of Taiwan. But Hobot Technology Inc. founder George Chao may be reversing the trend with innovative, award-winning robot cleaning devices that are being made at home.
TSMC’s 86-year-old Chairman Morris Chang is vowing to make a clean break with TSMC after he retires in June. CommonWealth Magazine caught up with him to see how he feels about the company he’s built and how he thinks it will fare without him.
China’s e-commerce and mobile economy are booming, yet it is certainly not easy to enter or compete in the market. Here are the five key current trends to understand and learn from China’s e-commerce explosion.
Microsoft has decided to locate its new AI R&D Center in Taiwan despite interest from India, China and other markets. What was it that gave Taiwan the edge and what will the new center bring? Will it suck away high-tech talent or keep it at home?
In the last hundred years, technologies and related paradigms have kept shifting. However, decision-making structures in big organizations have changed little since the first industrial revolution. How can technology be used to optimize management?
He is in charge of the Microsoft search engine Bing, personal assistant Cotana and cloud platform Azure. He comes from Taiwan and is now CVP of Microsoft AI Core and CTO of the AI and Research Division. He is David Ku, the person in charge of integrating AI function into Microsoft’s essential products.
From 2G to 4G, the mobile communication network has kept renovating itself, being a major driver of global growth and technological development. However, the advancement to 5G will not just provide faster data or lower latency. Its applications can radically change our ways of living.
The rising tide of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is altering the entire landscape of production. Old types of business models, techniques and workers will be fundamentally challenged. How are different countries in the world responding to this drastic transformation?
In recent years, Facebook has been haunted by serious problems like online abuse and fake news. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself addressed that something has to be done due to the situation. Can Facebook really fix itself?
The coming disruption of Industry 4.0, which aims to bring manufacturing back to the developed countries with technological integration, will be one of the key issues for the ASEAN region in the next five decades. How can ASEAN manage the potential impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
It's reasonable to be alert that AI and automation can eliminate jobs. However, it's also irrational not to look into the benefits and higher productivity brought along with human-machine collaboration. At certain point we will have to ask the question: Do machines necessarily have to compete with humans?
Nearly as many motorcycles and scooters are registered in Taiwan as there are people. Despite their tremendous convenience and low cost, scooters clog both the atmosphere and city sidewalks, diminishing quality of life for everyone. Can the advantages of electric scooters and emerging shared motorcycle services convince enough consumers to complete Taiwan’s transition to electric vehicles by 2030?
Taiwan’s surveillance industry companies have been battered by Chinese competition, but they are hoping to turn the tables by developing artificial intelligence systems that learn as they go and create value. Can they successfully fend off China’s threat?
In the 20th century, having oil meant having power and influence. In the 21st century, data has supplanted oil as the resource of choice. But having it isn’t enough. What is it that is separating the winners from the also-rans in this data-driven age?
Once a boy who admired the robot-cat Doraemon, Huang Yi is now a digital choreographer who duets with his own-designed robot, and the first Taiwanese to stand on the stage of TED’s annual conference in 2017. With reason and passion, Huang spins intricate human feelings into emotionless robots, pushing the realm of art to new extremes.
Labor groups have long blamed Taiwan’s low wages and long working hours on exploitative employers. But in this Op-ed piece, Universal Cement Corporation Vice President Jack Hou offers a more expansive view of what the real problems are.
Instead of resting on his laurels and enjoying retirement life, biotech industry veteran Patrick Y. Yang has returned to the frontline to help Taiwan catch up with the world leaders in precision medicine.
Canada has become a “Maple Valley” of AI research on par with America’s Silicon Valley, enticing Geoff Hinton, the esteemed father of deep learning, to leave his native UK to settle in Toronto, and attracting huge investments from the top names in tech. How did this come about?
Blockchain is certainly trending, but there are simple but important questions to ask. What is blockchain? How does it work exactly? What is its impact on our economy and society? Here's what you need to know.
Many workers are worried that robots and AI will supplant them. CommonWealth Magazine Group publication Cheers brought together two experts to discuss whether those concerns are warranted and what can be done to stay ahead of the game.
Former TSMC R&D executive Liang Mong-song, dubbed the biggest traitor in Taiwan’s semiconductor industry for leaking trade secrets to South Korean rival Samsung, has jumped ship again, this time taking the post of co-chief executive with China’s SMIC.
The face of TSMC for 30 years, Chairman Morris Chang, announced on Oct. 2 that he will be retiring in June 2018, and he laid out a succession plan involving “dual leadership.” Can this new model really replace the semiconductor legend?
Augmented and virtual reality are expected to grow into a $95 billion market by 2025. These game changing tech will definitely reinvent how we create and consume. Nevertheless, new risks start to emerge along with the booming trend of immersive technologies.
A main highlight of Apple’s much-hyped iPhone X is its facial recognition function (Face ID). After six months of digging, CommonWealth Magazine has confirmed that Taiwan’s Himax and TSMC are the main suppliers backing this critical technology.
Late last year, U.S. online retail giant Amazon launched Amazon Go, pioneering a new kind of store without a checkout counter. China and Japan are also battling to deliver a checkout-free shopping experience in unmanned stores. What are their secret weapons in this battle for new retail service models?
Satellites, once the domain of a handful of national space agencies, have become smaller and more affordable, leading to more accessible satellite-based ventures. The recent launch of Formosat-5, the first space mission entirely manufactured on the island, was a major milestone for Taiwan’s space program.
This cloud-based healthcare system, which is set to expand to hospitals throughout Thailand, made it to the ASEAN market after a detour in Africa provided valuable lessons on localization and customization.
Software has taken over the global electronics sector, leaving Taiwan’s hardware makers in a bind. But Quanta Computer has embraced a new path that builds on its past, as Quanta Chairman Barry Lam explains.
Recognized as one of Taiwan’s leading practitioners of Industry 4.0, TSMC has been able to maintain its pricing power in an age of plummeting component prices. What has been its secret weapon in achieving that?
Three Cloud-based platforms keep 300,000 elevators across the globe in line. The incorporation of augmented reality places virtual over actual reality, streamlining workflow. With the Silicon Valley innovation engine powering the way, American Industry 4.0 is quietly accelerating into the passing lane.
Robotic arms in operating rooms are old news. But now digital brains are taking on greater roles independent from human operators, serving as assistants during surgical procedures, and also helping farmers tend their vegetable fields.
As the late management guru Peter Drucker once said, the tools we rely on for survival today could get in the way of growth tomorrow. Constantly enhancing one’s skills and taking on all kinds of roles, “hybrid talents” are the new stars of the workplace.
Autonomous vehicles. Robots learning on their own. The artificial intelligence wave has arrived, as was evident when Nvidia founder Jensen Huang spoke at Computex Taipei. Does Taiwan have what it takes to capitalize on this “next big thing?”
Starting this year, electricity use will be like browsing the market for food - just pick and choose whatever you like. The liberalization of the electricity industry enables everyone from individuals to large corporations to freely invest in, buy or sell renewable energy.
Artificial intelligence is poised to explode, much like the internet in the 1990s. But with no clear market and no advanced research, how can Taiwan find its niche in this global tsunami and what will it need to do to strike success?
Taiwan has never had a more industry-oriented science and technology minister. Chen Liang-gee is the most aggressive government official when it comes to investing in artificial intelligence (AI). What does he have in mind? The following are excerpts from our exclusive interview with Chen, in his own words:
Even with open curricula and Internet-based direct broadcasts available in China, a paid subscription knowledge platform has attracted 1.5 million users and garnered NT$1.3 billion in annual revenue. How has it done it?
Live streaming has not provided the payout many anticipated, but a new model has emerged in China that could fill in the gap – paid subscription knowledge sharing platforms. How have they been able to rise to prominence?
China’s startup scene is no longer just about the Internet but also about a trend toward premium products. As China’s growing middle class cares less about a product's price-performance ratio, a new group of service providers has emerged to tap the premium product market.
As it tries to reinvent itself, China is facing several daunting threats that could provoke social turmoil. CommonWealth Magazine went to China to identify those perils and see what Beijing is doing to cope with them.
For the past nine years, Taiwan’s machinery industry has tried to break the trillion- dollar mark in terms of annual output, but so far this challenge has proven insurmountable. This year might be different. Why?
The Asian Silicon Valley vision of President Tsai Ing-wen is starting to take shape with the help of two Taiwan-born Silicon Valley veterans who specialize in technology development and fundraising, but many challenges remain.
A self-described risk taker whose philosophy rests on encouraging imagination through play might seem more like PIXAR or Tesla than a government agency. But Tekes, Finland’s state funding agency, is different.
With the advance of medical technology, physicians need to communicate not only with patients but also with engineers. The definition of “professional" now includes being able to apply new technologies and keep up with technological progress.
TSMC Chairman Morris Chang, one of Taiwan’s most respected business people, opens up in this interview with CommonWealth Magazine about the future of the high-tech and semiconductor sectors and the state of labor-management relations in Taiwan.
Pile after pile of waste tires stacked in small mountains comprise a “Taiwanese landscape” that Enrestec is determined to eliminate. The company’s turning junk tires into new tires and toner cartridges has attracted global attention.
Countries around the world are embracing the idea of a “circular economy” in which resources remain in use for as long as possible and nothing goes to waste. Taiwan was late to jump on the bandwagon, but a few companies are showing the way.
On a recent visit to Taiwan, Under Armour (UA) CEO Kevin Plank warned Taiwan’s contract manufacturers: Cost cutting no longer results in any meaningful competitive advantage, as rapid innovation disrupts existing business models and revolutionizes manufacturing.
Nike has long been the powerhouse in the athletic apparel world. But now under pressure from Under Armour and other upstarts, it is relying on innovation to stay ahead of the pack, says Nike CEO Mark Parker in an interview with CommonWealth Magazine.
Merida resolved in 2011 to invest NT$1 in earnings per share to sponsor a Europe-based ProTour team, but it quickly discovered that materials, manufacturing, design, and branding were just as important as money in achieving success at the highest level.
It’s a company most people have never heard of, but its manufacturing prowess rivals that of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, and it supplies soles to nine of the world’s 10 biggest sports shoe brands. Here’s Shun Chan Industra’s story.
From badminton rackets to bicycles and soccer balls, "Made in Taiwan" sporting goods have reached the pinnacles of their respective fields and generated NT$500 billion in annual output. How do they plan to sustain their run of success?
The first Taiwanese company to adopt Industry 4.0 is a textile manufacturer that’s been around for decades. It is hoping a NT$450 million investment in a new brain for its production complex will help it cope with the challenges of the information age.
Multitasking production lines, machines that talk to each other, smart transporters that can call their own elevators – these futuristic scenes have become reality in Taiwan as the BenQ Group strives to emulate German giant Siemens.
The government-financed “Plattform Industrie 4.0” is the major promoter of the revolutionary Industry 4.0 concept in Germany. Platform chief Henning Barthien tells CommonWealth Magazine of the concept’s benefits and challenges.
Fifty-eight seconds. That’s all it takes BMW to produce a customized car, Siemens to make a customized controller or Optima to make a customized bottle of perfume. Industry 4.0 is redefining how things are made and sold in the 21st century.
A new government took power in Taiwan on May 20, and its top economic planner, Chen Tain-jy, is already feeling pressure to quickly energize an economy in the doldrums. His solution? Have the government take the lead in rekindling investment.
Though little known, most British tech companies have developed key technologies and are now attracting the attention of international tech giants. Taiwan, a smaller market like Britain, could learn a lesson from their low-profile approach.
Several emerging industries have risen up to ride the digital wave, but does Taiwan have what it takes to capitalize? If the country hopes to spawn a “Digital Taiwan,” it will have to integrate its strong “hardware” sector with new software.
Google Taiwan managing director Chien Lee-feng believes Taiwan has many advantages it can use in pursuing a digital future, but he says it needs to recognize them and put a priority on talent development if a “Digital Taiwan” is to emerge.
Anything, it seems, can be done or sold online, and Chinese vendors are betting big on “Internet Plus” and its scale, speed, and impact. But will it lead to a new wave of growth in China or end up as a money game that creates a major economic bubble?
Fresh off its acquisition of GE’s venerable home appliance unit, Haier is now the world’s biggest home appliance brand. CEO Zhang Ruimin, at the helm since 1984, is taking bold steps as he sets out to “change the world.”
Five years ago, Innolux, Chimei and TPO Displays merged to become Taiwan's flat panel leader. The company then fell NT$530 billion into debt after a slump in the global display market, but teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it somehow recovered.
The artificial intelligence field is exploding, with companies, societies and countries all desperate to get in on the game. More than 1,000 startups have bet on the field and its NT$16 trillion market potential.
For a company, profits and investments are like the black and white stones in the traditional game of Go. Which move should be made in the current situation? There is no harm in listening to what artificial intelligence has to say.
Taiwan’s manufacturing sector has long focused on low-cost contract manufacturing for major brands. But that’s changing as Taiwan now stands as a driver of innovation for well-known global companies such as Burberry, Victoria’s Secret, and Ferrari.
Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturer, is close to acquiring Sharp of Japan. What is behind Hon Hai’s willingness to risk it all financially to take over the venerated but money-losing Japanese electronics giant?
FinTech – financial technology – has become a hot trend in finance, but Taiwanese business schools have been slow to recognize its growing importance. A few prominent institutions are trying to change that, hoping they’re not too late.
Everest Textile President Roger Yeh has invested tens of millions of NT dollars to build Taiwan’s first intelligent textile production line. Yeh believes that, if Taiwan’s textile cluster is well-estasblished, there’s no reason to fear the red supply chain.
Taiwan has made a “non-nuclear homeland” a priority. But with renewable energy technology and investment lacking and limits to energy-saving initiatives, Taiwan will find it hard to cut emissions, eliminate nuclear power and keep electricity prices low.
The Germans pay three times as much for electricity than the Taiwanese, yet Germany has been making great efforts to phase out cheaper nuclear power, investing instead in reducing carbon emissions and developing renewable energy sources. What can Taiwan learn from this?
The bionic robot designed by Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro can speak, act in a play and host a TV program.
Aside from robots resembling human beings, Ishiguro has also released a simple companion robot that he predicts will become as indispensable to us in the future as smartphones
Engel Wu has resisted the urge to pursue quick profits in China, instead staying in Taiwan to oversee Protech Systems’ transformation from the bleak PC industry to the opportunity-rich industrial computer (IPC) sector and its 50% margins.
Through mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and dedicated factories, the electronic manufacturing service provider Ennoconn Corp., a subsidiary of Hong Hai, has reinvented itself as a maker of customized industrial computers.
Many of Taiwan’s PC makers are stuck in low-margin purgatory. Not Adlink Technology. Through its heavy investment in R&D, the industrial PC maker sells sophisticated products that generate solid returns.
Foreseeing the volatility of consumer electronics 10 years ago, Advantech Co. set its sights on industrial computers. The strategy now has it positioned at the forefront of Taiwan's – and China's–foray into "Industry 4.0" and the Internet of Things.
In its first ever "Digital Life Survey," CommonWealth Magazine found Taiwan's Internet users to be among the most avid fans of social media across the globe, and have distinct online behavior patterns that will dictate how companies position themselves in the future.
Taiwan has emerged as the world's biggest exporter of the custard apple-like fruit, the atemoya. But mindless competition among Taiwanese trading companies and dependence on China is threatening the riches derived from this heavenly gift.
Foxsemicon Integrated Technology is going public after Terry Gou almost gave up on it. Here's how one of Gou's veteran generals took a perennial money loser and turned it into a semiconductor industry stalwart.
PTT was just the first stop on a magical software journey that has taken him to Microsoft, big data and even artificial intelligence. Currently working in the U.S., Ethan Tu is looking forward to the day when he harnesses Taiwan's "software power."
Automotive electronics represent the IT sector's next major growth engine and an opportunity for Taiwan to transform itself. It's no wonder, then, that Taiwan's tech players are eager to find ways into the global automotive supply chain.
The automotive industry is currently embroiled in a fierce battle with the IT, telecommunications and Internet sectors for supremacy in the age of connected vehicles and new mobility solutions. As new paradigms begin to emerge, collaboration across sectors is the key to win.
The entire world is engaged in a battle for innovation and transformation supremacy. Qu Daokui, one of China's foremost robotics experts, tells CommonWealth how China will go from the world's manufacturer to a manufacturing superpower.
Unable to tackle the Internet of Things alone, big Taiwanese electronics companies are building strategic alliances with startups to get in on the ground floor. Few are pursuing the opportunity more aggressively than Acer.
Taiwan's media has been infatuated with Terry Gou's courtship of Sharp. But his real priority is the smart electric vehicle market, a business he sees as essential to his dream of building a NT$10 trillion empire.
Traditional yarn manufacturer Toung Loong Textile Mfg. Co. Ltd. stayed in Taiwan as industry peers flocked to China. Instead of competing on price, the company repositioned itself as a manufacturer of high-end premium yarns.
A specialized thread developed in Taiwan that is used as material for Intel, adidas, Lululemon and Under Armor smart clothing is the secret weapon high tech firms here are relying on to introduce new related products.
As it faces its fifth decade, Microsoft is making changes to compete with newer companies. Julia Liuson, corporate vice president at Microsoft, is at the forefront of the company's recent moves towards open-source software.
Waste generated by Taiwan's high-tech sector is being dumped indiscriminately around Taiwan, threatening the environment, people's health and the future of the high-tech sector itself. Has the situation reached a breaking point?
As the only U.S. FDA-approved ultrasound replacement transducer maker, Taiwan's Broadsound Corporation has come to monopolize this niche market, and is now starting to worry global brands. Here's how the company has done it.
With the support of senior executives from high-tech heavyweights TSMC and MediaTek, Maisense Inc. has developed an innovative blood pressure device that's changing the face of its industry. What's been its secret?
If a city resembled a sponge, absorbing water from storms and saving it for droughts, would we have to worry about having enough water? One extraordinary road in Xizhi not only stores and purifies water, it even regulates its temperature.
TSMC admitted at an investor conference on Jan. 15 that it has been overtaken in 16nm technology by Samsung. A big reason is Liang Mong-song, who sold out to the Korean company. Here's the story of what went down.
Key employees of Taiwan's high-tech companies are defecting to Chinese and Korean competitors, threatening the country's competitive edge. Taiwan could learn from the United States in stemming the loss of vital trade secrets.
Tongtai Machine & Tool Co. Chairman J.H. Yen worries that Taiwan is lagging behind in the intelligent manufacturing race. But his company is showing how Taiwan's key machine tool industry can keep up with the global trend.